“Harnessing Agriculture For Economic Growth And Youth Empowerment in Delta State.”

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By Comrade Victor Ojei popularly called Wong Box (WhatsApp us via 08038785262). Feel free to contact us.

 

Introduction:

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In recent years, the agricultural sector has proven to be a powerful catalyst for economic growth and employment generation across various states in Nigeria. The success story of Kebbi State, which made over 150 billion naira in the sale of rice alone through a partnership with Lagos State, serves as an inspiring example. Delta State, with its vast arable land and favourable climate, has the potential to replicate and surpass such achievements. By prioritizing agriculture as a means of creating employment and generating revenue, the Delta State Government, under the leadership of His Excellency Rt Hon Elder Sheriff .F.O. Oborevwori, can unlock numerous benefits for the state and its citizens.

 

Agriculture as a Revenue Generator:

The agricultural sector has historically been a key contributor to Nigeria’s economy. In the early days of the nation, revenues generated from the exportation of cash and food crops played a pivotal role in funding infrastructure development, including the establishment of the first generation of oil and gas refineries. By focusing on agriculture, Delta State can diversify its revenue sources and reduce its overreliance on oil revenue, which is susceptible to global market fluctuations. This strategic shift will not only ensure a stable revenue stream but also strengthen the state’s fiscal position and promote sustainable economic development.

 

Youth Empowerment and Job Creation:

Unemployment among Nigerian youths remains a pressing issue. By providing employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, the Delta State Government can address this challenge effectively. Investing in agriculture will not only create jobs but also empower young people with valuable skills, training, and entrepreneurial opportunities. By deploying youths to special farm settlements across the state, the government can tap into their energy, innovation, and enthusiasm to drive agricultural productivity. Through this approach, the government can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility, ultimately leading to increased productivity and sustainable development.

 

Boosting Internal Revenue Generation:

Developing the agricultural sector in Delta State will have a positive impact on the state’s internal revenue generation (IGR). Increased agricultural productivity will create a ripple effect, stimulating ancillary industries such as agro-processing, storage, logistics, and marketing. The state government can leverage these opportunities by implementing favorable policies and providing necessary infrastructure to support agricultural value chains. As a result, the state’s IGR will experience a significant boost, creating a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth and development.

 

Adopt the Agricultural Policies of the Federal Government under former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adeshina:

The Governor of Delta State should take a cue from the Agricultural policies of the Federal Government under the then Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adeshina whose expertise was globally recognised and applauded._ *Also the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor borrowers programme should be explored and exploited by Deltans. We also need to consider and put strategies on ground with respect to dealing with corrupt officials from the Commissioner in charge who most of the time is a thieving and corrupt and unpatriotic Politician working hand in hand with corrupt Civil Servants to sabotage the process.

 

As we speak now Lagos State built a viable commercial oriented Rice processing mill and its partnering with private companies for the distribution of its products. Delta state can do same.

 

The Government should set up Agric Processing zones in Delta State thereafter should seek the assistance of International Agricultural Organisations. We should also visit some States in Nigeria that have made a mark in Agriculture and get ideas and expertise from them, there should be no shame and pride when consulting with these States.

 

Most of the previous Delta State Agricultural programmes and policies are just window dressing because of the unpatriotic Politicians appointed by the Government to run the process. Delta state needs a true Agricultural or Green Revolution if it wants to survive post crude oil Nigeria or go beyond crude oil as a means of generating Internally Generated Funds (IGR). Crude oil is is seriously going out of fashion. How prepared is Delta State?

 

Conclusion:

The Delta State Government, under the visionary leadership of Governor His Excellency Rt Hon Elder Sheriff .F.O. Oborevwori, should seize the opportunity to prioritize agriculture as a means of creating employment and generating revenue. By leveraging the state’s abundant natural resources, favourable climate, and partnering with the youth, the government can transform Delta State into a powerhouse of agricultural production.

 

By fostering youth empowerment and job creation through strategic deployment to special farm settlements, the state can harness the immense potential of the agricultural sector, boosting internal revenue generation and securing a prosperous future for its citizens. The time is ripe for Delta State to reclaim its historical agricultural prominence and pave the way for sustainable development.

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