Govt Need to Provide Farmers with Farm Inputs-Akin Alabi
Youths Ned to Start Farming at Small Scale-Akin Alabi
The global COVID-19 pandemic has really let countries thinking as they all continue to seek support from each other for survival and with situation like this, one cannot throw away agriculture (FOOD), as we all need to survive during this challenging period.
Seeking to see how the government and the youths can work to bring about the needed change in the Agric spheres, brandafriq.com had an exclusive interview with Agricultural Business Coach and co-founder Corporate Farmers TV international, Akin Alabi, who took his time to share some insights on how things can work for the food sector.
Read excerpts below;
As Nigeria struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic, how do you think farmers can survive this period?
It’s a difficult situation thou. But we must ensure to keep our Farmers (Rural& Urban) Safe & most importantly create awareness about the pandemic and what they need to do to stay safe.
At periods like this, everyone depends on food and considering the lockdown, how can government help farmers achieve better produce?
The only way Government can support any Farmer is to provides farm inputs to continue Production. Farm Production is CRITICAL at this time because the whole world now depend on the Farmer for Survival.
Now how readily are these farm lands available for farmers knowing that they have to go through a lot of process before they can even get land from the government?
Well for Farm Lands, it varies either you buy off to use or you lease. But Lands are always available for Farmers who are ready. It’s just going thru the process with the Ministry of Agric and it will be allocated. The most important part is.
That takes us to Agricultural Funding, a youth that wants to go into poultry, piggery and other livestock, do you think he can go through the various government challenges just to get funds/loan?
Absolutely No government or Bank will loan you. What he/ she needs to do is to start small with little capital via PERSONAL savings. It’s not necessarily starting Big. Gradually with Continuity the Business will grow & can apply for more funds to upscale.
The economic situation we find ourselves today as youths is not encouraging, making ends meet, takes time, how do we save, buy half plot of land even and start even poultry?
Well there are lots of initiatives that is encouraging youth in Nigeria such as Nigerian Youth Connect To Work initiative by Cellulant, the Tony Elumelu Foundation. This platform & others are created to support Youth #Startup especially those interested in.
From your observation, what are the areas of Agriculture that you think Nigeria is yet to tap into that brings quick cash and can encourage the youths to go into?
The Hot cake aspects is the Agricultural Extension Services (AES) with that you can cover all the entire value chain of Agriculture. It does not limit you to one particular expertise alone. So Agricultural Extension is the Future.
On the part of government, how do you think they can lure/motivate the youths into taking on agriculture instead of waiting for office jobs?
Simple, both Govt & Private sector should create several agricultural Platforms, that will make the youth see Agric Beyond Farming. Because when they see it Beyond Farming they will be able to drive their energy into the sector & bring up new #Agricultural innovation.