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Asoju Odo Launches Young Farmers Club Cooperative in Kwara South, Kicks Off Asoju Odo Farms In Ekan -Meje

The Founder of the Asoju Odo Youth Development Center Charles Olufemi Folayan yesterday launched the Young Farmers Club Cooperative in Kwara South Senatorial District. The launching was attended by the Coordinators of the group in the various communities.

During his speech, Folayan said the initiative is part of his effort to addressing the various challenges preventing young people from practicing agriculture and agro-businesses smoothly in Nigeria. 

He said the clubs are formed in clusters at the various communities to educate young people about agriculture, promote innovations and facilitate necessary incentives needed to encourage them to invest their time, energy and resources in agriculture, thereby increasing food production and reducing poverty and unemployment.

The former House of Reps Contender who also begins cultivation of over ten hectares of land for the Asoju Odo Farms in Ekan-Meje, noted that the International Trade Administration of America published in 2020 that Nigeria spends approximately $22 billion annually on food imports says, if invested in domestic agriculture would reduce Nigeria's unemployment and poverty rate by half. 

He also noted that the World Bank states that 80% of the world’s rural poor earn a living through farming, and the sector employs half of the rural population of the entire continent of Africa. Most smallholder farmers live in poverty, operating crop and livestock farms that aren’t as productive as they could be and missing out on critical opportunities to contribute to their larger food systems.

"In Nigeria, Agriculture that used to be a major occupation of many young and old people across the states decades ago has now been left for older people in the rural areas. It's a growing concern that young people are not showing enough interest in agriculture. 

"Some of the reasons discovered to be responsible for their disinterest includes; outdated farming practices, limited access to modern farm tools, limited access to technology, lack of storage facilities, limited access to profitable markets, pest, climate change and recently insecurity. 

"A new report on the role of youth in agriculture from Heifer International, which includes input from nearly 30,000 young Africans and hundreds of farmers and farm organizations in Africa, identifies additional challenges preventing youth from fully engaging in farming, most notably lack of financing, land, markets and training.

"Young Farmers Club is a platform created to addressing the above challenges and make farming easy for the Nigerian youth and women.

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