National Youth Policy and Advocacy
Thanks Am Ebiho Agun for your response. It is interesting that your discussion has also highlighted on the institutional frameworks proposed to implement the youth policy, in a majority of instances very good policy ideas get 'killed' because of the absence of institutional/structural frameworks for implementation. This is a very critical point that advocacy messages should incorporate - development of policies and 'effective' institutional frameworks. Again like Namibia there is mention of the non-traditional youth sector - agriculture. Are there any indications that Government is providing adequate incentives to make young people venture into Agriculture?
Presently the government of Nigeria has earmarked a certain amount of money to provide loans for entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, but these loans are for the general populace and are not youth specific.
However, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development in Nigeria does have some youth specific incentives to encourage young people to venture into the agricultural sector, and these are in form of skills acquisition training in diversified agricultural production and processing, as well as provision of small grants for trainees to set up agricultural enterprises. The government is also working on expanding these initiatives
Thanks Am Ebiho, I note that the Federal Ministry of Youth has programmes focussed on encouraging young people into agriculture - are young people receptive to the idea? In a majority of instances young people associate agriculture with 'dull' life, no fancy city life etc.......has the Government carried out some effective advocacy to influence young people towards positive thinking about agriculture?
Thanks Nellie, You got that right. Young people in Nigeria are not different; they also find agriculture very dull, especially sectors like crop production. Some of them find fish farming interesting because it is less associated with 'Farm Life'(you can actually set up a fish pond in your home). Still, the interest is very minimal, they prefer being in an office setting than being on the farm.
For now, the ministry is presently planning on shifting focus to training youth to establish businesses in processing of agricultural farm produce(e.g.: Fruit juice Production), but it still at planning stage. The young people would prefer mechanized farming, but it is capital intensive and no funding for that yet.