The Odu’a Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ODU’ACCIMA) on Thursday inaugurated Agbetuntun, a fully digital-driven platform to entice the youth to agricultural businesses and ensure food security within the Southwest and other Yoruba speaking communities in Nigeria.
The platform was launched at the premises of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan with plum and fanfare.
While explaining the reason behind the project to journalists at a press conference held shortly before the launch, President of ODU’ACCIMA, Kola Akosile, said the initiators had critically considered the attraction of youth to the modern day technology, and were confident that if properly exploited the revolution would not only attract them to agriculture and its related genres of human endeavour, but also pave the way for the kind of unprecedented development witnessed in the days of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the old Western Region.
He said the project is proposed to take off with between 10,000 to 20,000 farmers this year, with a target of about one million beneficiaries in the next five years.
The Agbetuntun initiative is primarily conceived to use technology to attract the youth into agriculture, monitor and coordinate all the value chains, also through technology, for maximum yield and development of the people and space across the Yoruba speaking states in Nigeria.
“It is essentially a value chain approach to agriculture and agribusiness in the southwest.
“Hitherto, we have the intervention of silos in strategic places across the region. But now, we want to have an integrated approach which was coined ‘from farm to fork’.
“We are looking at things that will stand the years and bring about the kind lasting legacies of firsts achieved with proceeds from agriculture in the old Western region during the time of our revered Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier.
“We believe if we could achieve so much with analogue, we should achieve much more deploying digital technology in this digital age,’ he said.
Describing the project as a movement and transformational approach to agriculture and agribusiness, Akosile said Agbetuntun is designed to leverage on the population of the youth (which was said to be above 60 percent of the entire population), their interests, energy and sophistication, to fully tap into the potentials of agriculture to the progress of the Yoruba communities in Nigeria and the people therein.
“It is a transformational approach that essentially involves using digital approach to change the narratives of agriculture and agribusinesses in the Southwest Nigeria.
“From statistics, agriculture has the potentials to bring employment opportunities to our teaming youths and provide the space to express themselves and contribute their quota to the development of the region, the Nigerian nation and the African continent,” he enthused.
The ODU’ACCIMA boss further informed that apart from the traditional six states – Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti – the project will extend its benefits to folks in Edo, Kwara and Kogi States where there are Yoruba speaking communities.
He said the initiative is partnering with all stakeholders to ensure all stages of the chain value are taken care of without any hassles.
These, he added, included provision of finances, land, transportation, agro support service, ready buyers for the farm produces among others.