By Benjamin Umuteme
Popular Hollywood actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo has called on the federal government to increase investment in agriculture as it would stop rural-urban migration by youths in search of greener pastures.
Mr. Kanayo, who said this in a chat noted that despite the government’s talk of diversifying the economy, it has failed to match its talk with action.
The veteran actor further said that in spite of the enormous potentials in agriculture to move the country away from the present economic downtown Nigeria’s youth population is yet to embrace it.
He said: “it is predictable that with increased productivity that comes through youth participation, mechanisation and enhanced competitiveness of agricultural production, the core objectives of economic diversification, job creation of employment, food security and increase in incomes among farmers in the country will be achieved.”
The actor, popularly referred to as Professor Johnbull, urged the government to find a lasting solution to the persistent farmers/herdsmen clash which has not only put many Nigerians homeless and at risk of hunger and malnutrition, it has also claimed many lives.
He said there is need to empower the lot of Nigerian women farmers who make up majority of the farming population. According to him, simplifying the process of accessing finance will change their fortunes.
“The agricultural financing initiatives of government such as NIRSAL and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme including the facilities created through the Bank of Industry have to be flexible to women farmers,” he said.
Fielding questions from our correspondent, the National President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Ken Ukaoha said that except the government increases the monitor of banks, it various interventions in agriculture will amount to nothing.
According to the NANTS President, the banks would rather use the money to trade than give it to small holders that the monies are meant for.