Nigerians have been inundated with calls to return to farming, as a way of raising the earning power of the people.
In the past few years, there has been a growing need for the youths especially to take trainings in agricultural innovation in order to increase the food security and take advantage of business opportunities in the agricultural sector.
In Enugu State, one of the key farming states in southern Nigeria, the youths have harkened to this call and moved in droves to the budding sector.
The governor of Enugu State, Rt Hon Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi catalyzed this process by training lots of youths in Enugu Agribusiness Hub.
One key area the Hub focused on is the packaging and marketing of agro-products as a way of earning a living along the value of chain of agriculture.
According to Engineer Michael Ogbuekwe, the Special Adviser to Gov Ugwuanyi on on Agriculture, Enugu State Government now has its own brand of rice, cultivated and specially packaged in the state as Coal City Rice.
Engineer Ogbuekwe, who superintended the Enugu Agribusiness Hub programs, told Jungle Journalist Media Limited that Coal City Rice is an indigenous brand that aims to aggregate and expand the economics around rice production in the state.
He listed other special packagings of the Coal City Hub, trademarked for organized marketing as Enugu Garri, Enugu Honey, Nsukka Pepper, Enugu Palm Oil, Enugu Cashew and Enugu Okro.
The Hub held regular Master Class Trainings for Agribusiness Strategic Development was largely designed to assist Enugu youths and investors find their feet in profitable agribusiness opportunities.
“Agribusiness puts food on tables of billions of people globally. It contributes a great percentage to the GDP of most nations on earth.
“Our mission is to organize this sector and make it attractive to the active youthful population of our nation such that a great number of entrepreneurs are born from the Agribusiness space”.
“The country as a whole is diversifying and moving into agriculture. The urban youths wonder why they should go back to the village to farm. Our job here is to show them the simple process of processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural products. Enugu State Government under the able leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi set up this programme to sensitize the youths and mentor them to come into the agricultural sector.
“It’s not just theory, but will involved hands-on practicals. They got to see for instance, the practical processing of rice, destoning, polishing, packaging. We also taught them that they can start from a humble beginning. You have garri around you already.
“You can start by packaging the garri. Same goes for rice. You can package just a kilogram, some families might just decide they want to buy a little rice for a Sunday. This way, students and youths will begin to see how they can make money for themselves”, the Special Adviser explained.