Popular Nigerian singer, D’banj, has joined in the campaign for improvement in the agricultural sector, saying it would boost youth empowerment and alleviate poverty in the country.
He spoke in Abuja during a campaign entitled: “Do Africa, It Pays” which was in line with the African Union Declaration of 2014 as the year of agriculture and food security. Leaders are expected to review their agricultural investment commitments at the next AU Summit scheduled for June.
The campaign called “ONE Africa” is aimed at changing public perception about agriculture so that the entire value chain would be recognised as an attractive and viable opportunity for agro-business, job creation for Africa’s young people and improved livelihood for small farmers.
D’Banj, who used the opportunity to formally launch his ‘Koko Ijebu Garri”, one of his innovative agricultural products, stressed that the AU year of agriculture presents an opportunity for Nigeria to reverse budgetary cuts and improve a vital sector on which the majority of Nigerian citizens depend.
The Nigerian or African path to success cannot rely on foreign direct investment or private sector commitments only. There is lot of money to be made in agriculture. This is how my journey into the world of agriculture started. I was taken to a cocoa plantation in Ghana. The road to the plantation was rough. When we got there, I saw the small scale farmer. I asked them how they manage to run their business when they don’t have basic amenities like power and good roads.
I want to tell the youths that a farmer can wear a Rolex wristwatch and drive a Bentley. Five years ago, I started Koko Holdings and I am proud to tell you that all of you here today will be leaving here with a pack of Koko Garri. It is Ijebu Garri, so you can drink it. I want the youths to see that I have already started. Please my dear youths, we can do it. We should take a cue from Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. He made his money partly through agriculture, not oil. I will also be producing Koko Bread made from cassava just to practically support government’s drive to bring youths into agriculture.
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