Let’s start by defining Education. Education is a systematic process of acquiring knowledge. this act or process of imparting or acquiring knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life is not restricted to the four walls of a classroom in any school or educational institution. Education can be obtained anywhere and via diverse means, if the participant(s) is willing to learn.
Although we have a couple of institutes established for education on sports, without debating, you would agree that more than seventy percent of the world’s population above the age of 10 is a lover of one sport or the other with women inclusive. Both the young and old argue constructively about sports, and this has nothing to do with formal education within the constraints of an environment but for the fact that sport has been given that special preference for ages. But did sport exist before Agriculture? The answer is definitely NO. A justifiable reason for the special knowledge of sports without education is simply because of its consistency coupled with the fun it creates.
Hence, to properly project the unrecognized wealth in agriculture, there must be consistent enlightenment and regular empowerment programs that aim to educate the people especially the young folks on the history of agriculture before the advent of crude oil which instead of developing the economy has rather helped the country remain as an underdeveloped country. One such reeducation and enlightening program is the Agriconnect Summit, this summit aims to help youths learn, unlearn, and relearn while encouraging, empowering, and building interest in a $1Bn market share.
In retrospect, Cocoa production was important to the economy of Nigeria and was the leading agricultural export of the country with Nigeria as the world’s fourth-largest producer of Cocoa, after Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Ghana, and the third-largest exporter, after Ivory Coast and Ghana. The crop was a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria in the 1950s and 1960s and in 1970 the country was the second-largest producer in the world but following investments in the oil sector in the 1970s and 1980s, Nigeria’s share of world output declined. In 2010, Cocoa production accounted for only 0.3% of agricultural GDP. Average cocoa beans production in Nigeria between 2000 and 2010 was 389,272 tonnes per year rising from 170,000 tonnes produced in 1999.
With the above fact in mind, proper education and implementation of some Agricultural schemes will restore the Nigerian economy to its previous glory partially or totally but will provide a building foundation for aspiring Agricultural entrepreneurs.
At the immense accomplishment of the basic education on Agriculture, it should be immediately followed with a consistent funding, research, competitions, and sustainable empowerment programs to further create and increase the interest of the masses. Just in the same manner as sports do.
Education on Agriculture should not be limited to primary and secondary school Agricultural science subjects which in recent times is not even a compulsory subject in schools. It should be a consistent and compulsory program for both the educated and uneducated citizens of the Country.
Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below. Do you think proper education and re-education is enough to change the norm of Agriculture now amongst youths? What do you think needs to be done to facilitate and encourage youth’s inclusion in Agribusiness?
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