The Director, Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), Professor Carolyn Afolami, has advised students to imbibe appropriate mindset on career choices even as she declared that there is dignity in labour.
She made this declaration at the opening ceremony of the training workshop on fish farming, organized for selected secondary school students in Ogun State by the Extension and Adaptive Research Programme arm of AMREC.
According to her, food insecurity had become perennial in Nigeria, as people preferred white-collar jobs to agriculture and that UNAAB has come up with programmes to promote early interest in agriculture by the youths.
Giving a statistics on the amount Nigeria spends on importing food items, she said 630 billion naira was spent annually on importing food items into the country, stating that out of it, 106 billion naira is spent on fish importation, alone.
She decried the level of importation, despite the fact that Nigeria is blessed with good weather, climate and fertile soil for agriculture. She called on youths to have a change of mindset by venturing into agriculture, as not everybody can be absorbed into white collar jobs.
Prof. Afolami, who described agriculture as the solution to most of the problems being faced in Nigeria, admonished the students to develop interest in it as this could help to reduce poverty, unemployment and food insecurity.
She implored the students to always put into practice, all they learnt during the workshop and heard about the nation’s problem while should also contribute their quota through the practice of agriculture.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Development), Prof. Segun Lagoke, said the Project was put in place to assist schools in re-tracing their steps towards impacting the spirit of entrepreneurship on students, particularly at the secondary level.
He said the goal of the project was to impact through training, the practical skills and knowledge relevant to agricultural activities, develop positive attitudes toward manual labour, thus encouraging self-reliance, making education relevant to culture, equipping school leavers for job opportunities that are most likely to be available in rural areas, thereby reducing the rural-urban drift and generating income for schools.
The selected schools were, Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School, Taidob College, Asero High School, Abeokuta, Girls Grammar School, all in Abeokuta and Yewa College, Ilaro.