‘E-agriculture will create 500,000 jobs for youths’- Kalu Samuel

A Kenyan farmer sends a text message to enquire about the latest maize prices from her maize field in Thigio, near Nairobi. Photograph: Antony Njuguna

A Kenyan farmer sends a text message to enquire about the latest maize prices from her maize field in Thigio, near Nairobi. Photograph: Antony Njuguna

Following the rate at which some sectors of economy are being neglected by Nigerians, agricultural experts who are versed in on-line business have alerted the Nigerian youths to the economic benefit and employment opportunities of e-agriculture which has been under tapped in the country.

The experts, at a forum on “e-agriculture and its role in reducing unemployment and hunger” in Lagos recently said the youth unemployment rate can be reduced by 14.2 per cent by e-agriculture if properly utilised.

A participant, Ndifreke said, “Youth unemployment is solvable! Youth unemployment can be a thing of little concern! Youth unemployment can be overturned and overcome! As much as the youths are battered by the devastating demographics plaguing our country, the bulk of the problem lies in the ability of our government and leadership to provide an enabling environment where creativity and innovation are birthed, nurtured, grown and expanded with a sincere motive and drive towards economic development and people development.

On the other hand, organisations like RISE and other like organisations should without fainting keep the grassroot and community enlightenment, empowerment quest going which may be little, considering the youth population of the country but go a long way to effecting change in people’s lives. To the youths, do not give up, do not stop pressing forward, do not stop innovating, do not give up searching for possible way out….”

Speaking to our reporter on Wednesday on the resourcefulness of e-agriculture, the YPARD Local Representative in Lagos, Kalu Samuel said millions of rural farmers have access to phones or at least have a phone that can make and receive calls and unemployed youths should utilise the Information and Communication Technology channels like Bulk SMS, to create a platform for communication with these rural farmers and create time to physically see and encourage their works.

Article published in the National Mirror Newspaper
He said, “I think most Nigerian youths haven’t seen the opportunity of e-agriculture as a source of employment creation. All youths do not need to go to the farm, as such some will use this avenue as an opportunity to create and deliver information to the farmer using ICT tools.”

“You probably would have heard of e-mail, e-commerce, e-business, e-governance, and if you love shopping: e-bay! But many who have heard of e-Agriculture probably don’t know what it means and how it affects them either as individuals or as Agric professionals,” Samuel reiterated.

He said the e-agriculture if harnessed properly has the capacity of creating close to 500,000 jobs, if truly there are 50 million real farmers that will mean one graduate providing ICT services to 100 farmers.

Samuel, who noted that no rigorous training is required to start the business explained that the knowledge of ICT tools like computer is required and that other resources can be specialised trainings on SMS solutions, social media marketing and other ICT for agriculture solutions.

He said one can start an eagriculture venture with less than N50, 000 as the startup cost depending on how many people one is targeting with the service.

Article first published in the National Mirror Newspaper



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