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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Obasanjo links banditry surge to unemployment crisis

Calls for Agribusiness Promotion and Policy Consistency

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Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has attributed the rising wave of banditry and kidnapping in the country to the prevailing unemployment situation. Speaking at the 9th International Trade Exhibition & Conference on Agrofood, Plastics, Printing, and Packaging in Lagos, Obasanjo emphasized the urgent need to address unemployment as a means to tackle insecurity.

Obasanjo, renowned for his passion for agriculture, stressed the importance of promoting agribusiness for food security, employment generation, and economic development. He highlighted the crucial role of agriculture in providing employment opportunities for Nigerian youths, advocating for policies that make agriculture more attractive and profitable.

The former president underscored the need for policy consistency, urging policymakers to provide a conducive environment for farmers to thrive without fear of abrupt policy changes. He emphasized the importance of affordable financing for farmers, emphasizing that single-digit loans are essential for the profitability of agribusiness ventures.

Obasanjo also called for efforts to make agriculture more appealing to Nigerian youths, who often gravitate towards other sectors like entertainment. He emphasized the need to glamorize agriculture and create incentives for youth participation.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Fairtrade Messe, Paul Maerz, highlighted the significance of the trade exhibition in advancing Nigeria’s agrofood and plastics industries. With over 140 exhibitors from around the world, the event aims to showcase tailored products and solutions for the Nigerian market, contributing to the nation’s economic growth and technological advancement.

On the governmental front, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, addressed the pressing issue of post-harvest losses in Nigeria. He emphasized the need to invest in cold chain infrastructure to mitigate losses and ensure food security. Kyari underscored the government’s commitment to strengthening cold chain networks through partnerships with public and private stakeholders.

In a pledge of support, the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Wouter Plomp, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to collaborating with Nigeria to enhance food security. Recognizing agriculture as a vital component of the Nigerian economy, Plomp emphasized the importance of creating an enabling environment for agricultural development.

The conference served as a platform for stakeholders to discuss strategies for promoting agribusiness, reducing unemployment, and ensuring food security in Nigeria. Through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, participants aim to address pressing challenges and unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

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