The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed that many Nigerians were afraid of going into farming because of the fear of being kidnapped.
He said that kidnapping in some parts of the country had become so rampant that many were afraid of being kidnapped on their farms.
However, Ogbeh assured farmers of their safety, noting that the Federal Government had beefed up security across the country.
“We are also going to improve new form of security. I mean a more cultural type of security.
“Kidnappings have become the vogue among our younger elements and that has led to people fleeing agriculture in some areas.
“We will give our support to ensure that farmers operate safely on their farms,” the minister said.
Ogbeh, who spoke during a session to restructure and recapitalise the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) in Abuja, urged more youths to relocate to the rural communities and engage in agriculture.
According to him, the youths should stay back in Nigeria and choose agriculture over travelling abroad, where he said there is no greener pasture.
The agriculture minister said, “We need more cottage industries to decongest the cities so that young people can be comfortable in their rural environment making money and living a good life. We want to minimise the tendency of our young people crossing the desert in search of greener pastures which does not exist over there.
“The great news for Nigeria, which makes us a little different from others, is that a large number of young Nigerians are interested in agriculture. I keep talking about our young people because they are our children and they will replace us. They have knowledge and ambition we do not have.
“And if we do not open the door for them to realise their ambition and grow agriculture to a level which their parents did not attain, by the time we are 450 million in just 30 years from now, this country will be in terrible commotion. But they need to access credit and pay back.”