A Rice Miller in Anambra, Mr Akai Egwuonwu, has urged youths to take interest in rice farming and production to address the problems of unemployment and food insecurity in Nigeria.
Egwuonwu, the Managing Director of Stine Industries, made the plea in an interview with phenomenal on Friday in Amichi, Nnewi South Local Government of Anambra.
He said that rice farming was one of the most profitable and lucrative businesses in the country and should be encouraged among youths to build the nation’s economy.
Egwuonwu said: “It is sad that our youths do not want to get involved in agriculture, but we need to keep encouraging them.
“We should be telling them that agriculture is an enterprising business and there are modern technologies that can be used and you will not look dirty.
“I need to state that for every N1 million invested in agriculture, such as rice production, within three months you can double that money, because that is the gestation period for rice.
“Rice is one of the most consumed staple foods in Nigeria and even globally. So, it moves faster in sales than any other crop.
“If we have more youths taking interest, it will improve rice production in Nigeria to complement the production of high quality rice to compete with the imported ones.”
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He also urged the Federal Government to prioritise investing and training youths in rice production to reduce poverty and unemployment, and as well increase food security and economic growth.
According to him, agriculture is the backbone of any country serious about economic development and the welfare of its citizens.
“In the Western countries, agriculture is the second highest provider of employment after government.
“So, it is an area our government should consider critically,” he said.
Egwuonwu said that his company’s milling machine has the capacity of producing 440 tons of rice per day, which is about eight thousand to 10,000 50kg bags of rice and 300,000 bags yearly.