From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
More Nigerian youths, especially teenagers, are needed as key players in the ongoing rice revolution drive of the federal government.
The rice revolution has taken a chunk of youths from the streets to the farms, but more are still needed not just for food production but for the sustainability of farming culture in Nigeria.
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The campaign to bring more teenagers into farming was re-echoed during the inauguration of the National Rice Producers, Processors, Millers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NARPPMMAN) North Central zone held at De Bridge Ville Suits Jos, Plateau state.
The North Central zone comprises of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Nasarawa states.
National Vice President North Central of NARPPMMAN, Mr Ishiaku Jilemsam, in his welcome address emphasized that the involvement of teenagers in agriculture by the federal government is a deliberate action not just to give employment to the youths but largely for sustainability of food production and ongoing green revolution policy.
Jilemsam said, “Already, the youths are participating in this reformed green revolution, but more are needed because we need to grow young farmers that will take over from the older farmers in the nearest future.
“The modern farming in Nigeria is no longer seen as dirty venture reserved for the elderly and weak segment of the society. The present administration of President Buhari has already reformed farming into mechanized and corporate ventures.
In his key note address at the event, National President of NARPPMMAN, Alhaji Mustafa Ahmodu, noted that in addition to farming of rice, more opportunities abound in the processing, milling, packaging and marketing for the youths.
Ahmodu said, “The association is a merger of 13 commodity associations within the rice value chain from primary production to the user stage, brought together by the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment in August last year.
“Within NARPPMMAN, every stage in rice production circle has a well-organized and professional group that will drive the process to the next stage which will ultimately lead to specialization.