Nigeria is home to the largest African population on the continent, with a vast majority of its population been classified as young people (aged 0-35 years) . As youth unemployment rises and an increase in numbers of young people migrating to cities continues, infrastructure is being strained; this is most evident in Lagos (former country’s capital). According to one report, Lagos is the second fastest growing city in Africa and the seventh in the world.
Government initiatives and aid cannot meet the demands placed on roads, sanitation, education, health facilities and employment in the urban areas. General agricultural performance within the country is dismal, forcing the youth to leave the fields in search of stable employment in populated cities. This situation is contributing to a generation of youth dysfunction and disorientation (Adeyemi, 2012).
The majority of Nigerian youth are neither interested in farming nor in agricultural professions. The inability to attain an agricultural “revolution” or increase the desire of youth to take up agriculture is created by the continued rural-urban migration that has been taking place over the last few decades. Employment opportunities for youth continue to decline, but expansion of the agricultural sector will bring major improvements.
The Youth Agro Entrepreneurs (YAE) is a social enterprise incubator that aims to rebrand farming as a viable profession for a new generation of farmers by teaching Agricultural practices and business skills required to support the development of a sustainable agricultural enterprise.
In a study conducted by YAE, it was established that youths in Nigeria are eager to secure employment in this sector, but they need to be assured that agriculture can be a better means of earning money. The report explores the current climate of the agricultural industry and why agriculture has become unattractive for young people who are leaving school.
Agricultural training has to be revamped not only to make food available to millions of poor and hungry people, but also to create opportunities for youth to produce cash crops for local and international markets.
There is tremendous deficiency in youth employment engagement initiatives, as well as a crippled agricultural industry. Addressing the deficiencies will be a huge feat. However, with innovative, creative, and meaningful decisions by leaders, advocates, and policy-makers, the nation can begin to provide the necessary training, tools, incentives, and information to motivate the youth to participate in a viable and productive industry—agriculture.
Where Is My Food Coming From is a poetry/video fusion by spoken word poet, Onimisi “Wordsmith” Ademoh aimed at drawing the attention of the public to an important discussion which would help shape the policies and future of these sector of our emerging economy.