The country has begun taking significant strides to address this issue and the reforms in the Agricultural sector have by far been one of the biggest steps taken. Last year, the transformations in the sector empowered six million farmers across the country to embrace modern day farming.
“If you look at the revolution in the agricultural sector, it’s for economic inclusion. We are now creating middle level man power. Young graduates who ordinarily before this time, take their certificates and look for paid jobs are now going into agriculture,” Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of Nigeria told CNBC Africa.
The Minister of Agriculture, Adewumi Adesina initiated the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) that ended four decades of corruption in the fertiliser sector and scaled up food production by nine million metric tonnes in the first year - almost half of the 2015 production target. The sector also turned agriculture into a business activity generating wealth for millions of farmers and not just a devolvement program.
In addition as most of the young people or fresh graduates in the country cannot access loans from banks due to lack of collaterals, the president said development programs are essential as they are given grants and not loans.
“They have been given facilities by government and in terms of general investment, we have what we call the YouWin program where we are giving a number of young people who have small businesses or that want to expand or they just want to come into business, facilities,” said Jonathan.
He also believes that a new breed of entrepreneurs is essential to the country achieving sustainable growth as it entrepreneurs create the multiplying effect.
“For us to get a new breed of entrepreneurs that will grow to become the Dangotes of today, Government must assist them and that is being coordinated by the Finance Ministry and we have launched three phases now,” he said.
Last year, the president launched an agricultural initiative, Nagroprenuers programmes at the Nigerian Economic Summit and he is certain that development programmes such as this are crucial in terms of job creation.
“With these programs we believe that in the next three years or so, in Nigeria, there’ll be the multiplying effects and the issue of accommodation, job creations in terms of wealth will revolutionised,” he added.