ActionAid Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) has organised a one-day summit in Nasarawa State on agriculture innovations, aimed at empowering the youth against restiveness and violent extremism.
The summit is part of ActionAid Nigeria’s System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project in the state.
The project is being implemented in partnership with Global Peace Development and Beacon Youth Initiative with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, GCERF.
Speaking at the summit on Thursday in Lafia, Mr Adewale Adedutan, Social Mobilisation Manager, ActionAid Nigeria said it was also in commemoration of the 2021 International Youth Day.
Adedutan said the summit with the theme: “Youth Innovation in Peace Building Through Climate Change Mitigation”, was geared towards sensitising youths to look inward using smart innovations to engage themselves in agriculture to become self reliant.
“Agriculture is still the largest employer of labour.
“We are saying that we can mop the huge number of unemployed youths in Nigeria by making agriculture smarter, greener and more attractive to these youths thereby increasing our GDP.
“But if we still go by way of the subsistence farming that our forebearers are used to, youths will never be attracted to agriculture,” he said.
Adedutan explained that the organisation had already trained 24 young persons who were expected to train 50 youths each in 12 communities across the state on using technological innovations to engage themselves in agriculture, engender food security and curb herders/farmers conflict.
“We are talking about investment in technology in agriculture to attract the youth.
“The young people we have trained are in 12 communities spread across Nasarawa state.
“They are stepping down the knowledge and skills they have acquired to their peers in the communities to see how we can bridge the gap between food insecurity and violent extremism, to see how to conscientise young people in the communities,” he said.
According to him, the 12 selected rural communities spread across the three senatorial of the state had concerns with issue of agricultural productivity.
“These are some of the communities where we have been having farmers/herders clashes. So we want to ensure that we sensitise young people on the smart agriculture pattern to adopt in a such a way that the clash between farmers and herders can be reduced,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Ayuba Ewuga, the facilitator for Azuba Bashayi community said the use of innovation in the agriculture sector would reduce restiveness and insecurity as the youths would be productively engaged.
Also Mr Yakubu Isiaka, a participant said the summit had exposed them to new ideas that would help them succeed in agriculture.
He added that the summit had also changed their orientation and perception about agriculture being a dirty job for the poor, but rather a fortune earner (NAN)