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Unemployment: Get involved in agriculture, agroprenuer urges youths

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A female agroprenuer, Imu Ovaioza, has advised Nigerian youths to get involved in the country’s agricultural sector.

Ovaioza, the owner of Ovaioza Farm Produce Storage Business, an agricultural storage company for buying, storage, and resell of surplus grains gave the advice in an interview with The PUNCH on Saturday.

According to her, if more youths get involved in agriculture, there is room for involvement in processing, storage, marketing, and other arms of agricultural ventures.

She said, “Agriculture can become a very useful tool in reducing youth unemployment, providing sources of livelihoods and career opportunities for many. I am one more young person who has leveraged agriculture to remove herself from the unemployment statistics and I’m also creating opportunities for other youths at OFPSB.

“I have other business ventures that only became possible because of my engagement in agriculture. Today, we have Ovaioza Skills Acquisition Center and other businesses that will employ more Nigerian youths.”

Ovaioza noted that the problem with rural youth participation lies in the unavailability of resources for mechanization and finance to purchase other necessary agricultural input.

She sid, “In my experience, rural youths are more engaged in agriculture, mostly because large-scale agriculture is vastly practiced in rural areas, with the availability of land resources.

“How many rural youths have access to agricultural loans or other funding opportunities? How many of them have the required knowledge for cultivating improved agricultural produce?

“I pride myself as someone who has not spent all her life in the city. When I started OFPSB, I did not have access to external funds for the kind of large-scale agribusiness I envisioned.

“Even though channels for this came afterward, not many youths in rural communities will have this type of access. Like I always say, it takes money to make money and this also rings true in agriculture.”

On how social media technology be used to leverage agriculture, Ovaioza said, “When I started OFPSB, I recognized the fact that the world has gone digital and leveraged on the social capital I was building. When I opened up public agricultural investments, most of my investors came from social media.

“I constantly share free knowledge on running different types of agricultural ventures online, and consequently get people who pick up these ideas and go ahead to implement them. This way, knowledge is shared, opportunities are created and empowerment happens.

“There is so much positive influence social media platforms and technology as a whole, can have on any business in today’s world. If you run an agricultural venture, leverage social media for business visibility, business ideas, partnerships, and business growth.

“The virtual world has come to stay as part of our reality and its usefulness cannot be overemphasised.’”

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