The Concerned Youth Empowerment Association of Nigeria (CYEAN) has called on the Federal Government to support youth farmers to help the country achieve self sufficiency in food production.
The National President of the association, Mr Noble Adaelu, made the call in Abuja on Monday while speaking on the achievements and challenges of the Federal Government in the past two years.
Adaelu said the youths were yet to receive the needed support from the Federal Government in the areas of subsidised farm input supplies and access to low interest finance.
“Democracy day, what are we celebrating, Democracy that is well dependent on foreign donors or foreign food items. No, we have to move away from that.
“The Federal Government has not involved the youths in agriculture.
“In fact, all the programmes outlined by previous governments for agriculture advancement have not been replicated.
“We have the one we call Nigeria Agriculture Payment Initiative, that programme was done for farmers’ inclusion but up till now, that data has not been implemented.
“We need to be serious. If we really want to advance our industrial growth, the Federal Government has to take a lead; the Federal Government has to call all the actors in the field.
“You cannot have a very harmonious approach to it without involving the youths. We should end the lips service. It is time for us to move forward.
“What I want them to do is to bring implementable programmes that will really restore our pride of place in agriculture.
“Youths are not being represented. What belongs to us is not given to us. The farm inputs are no longer subsidised, we don’t receive any farm inputs,’’ the national president said.
He faulted the approach to the CBN-BOA ‘Anchor Borrowers Scheme’ in some states, adding that only few portfolio farmers benefitted from it.
The national president, however, appealed to the government to involve genuine farmers in agricultural programmes to encourage them to boost production.
Adaelu, who regretted that cassava production was being neglected in the country, said it could supplement wheat in bread production if adequately tapped.
The Concerned Youth Empowerment Association of Nigeria is a co-operative society that promotes and clamours for the rights of youths to enable them attain agreeable democratic atmosphere.