The mounting preference for steadily dwindling white collar jobs and open apathy shown by contemporary students and job seekers over Agriculture and food production all over the country has been described as one issue that affects our quest for food sufficiency if not addressed quickly soon.
This was the observation of the Awka Branch Controller of the Central bank of Nigeria, Mazi Azubuike Okoro, in a paper at a seminar on Agriculture Financing at the Anambra State University, Uli, (ANSU) Igbariam Campus. He stated that in response to the declining interest in farming in Nigeria, the apex bank has decided to venture into development projects, especially, in the area of agric financing.
Okoro noted that, “It is important to teach our children the essence of reading and practicing agriculture and more importantly, how to access funds in order to make what they read profitable, more interesting and ultimately make them employers of labour”.
That if Nigeria continues the massive importation of food without production, there will soon be pressure on the exchange rate of the naira, which is why the CBN is engaging a tripartite agreement between the ANSU students and financial houses, while CBN will come in to guarantee the borrowing process.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Fidelis Okeke, noted that there is need for emphasis on agriculture in the country presently, and charged the students to make use of what they learnt in promoting the school and in their own personal development.
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Dr Chris Uzuegbunam, who disclosed that the seminar was a prelude to an international conference scheduled for next year, lamented that students greatly under utilize services provided by institutions like the CBN, because of lack of knowledge. He expressed optimism that the seminar will help agric graduates and students alike to find their feet in the outside world.
Already two students have benefited in the scheme, which enabled them to start up poultry and a fish farm.