By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of F.A Feedmills and Farms, Ijebu-Ode, Otunba Fatai Soewu, has called on the federal and state governments to increase support in the agricultural sector.
Otunba Soewu said it was imperative that the agricultural sector is critically funded because of its capacity to reduce unemployment and boost food production in the country.
Otunba Soewu also encouraged youths to embrace agriculture, saying that it is one of the lucrative sectors of the economy that could be explored to reduce the problem of unemployment bedeviling the country.
The reputable farmer who also sits aboard Aquabash Table Water stated this while speaking with WESTERN POST on how the country could leverage on the abundant opportunities in agriculture sector to boost food production and to reduce unemployment.
Recalling his humble beginnings as a farmer, Otunba Soewu said he had started as a supplier of raw materials such as maize, sorghum,groundnut cakes, soya beans meal, fish meal, bone meal, oyster shells among others for production of poultry feeds to the farmers within ijebu and Ogun State at large.
He added that due to the growth of the business, he decided to set up a feed mill in 1998, and was buoyed further to set up a farm with particular interests in poultry, piggery and fishery.
Otunba Soewu said the farm which took off with 18 workers in 1998 now has nothing less than 300 workers eking their living from the farm, while also contributing their quota to the economic growth and the development of the country.
He further explained that, though he diversified into other businesses such as oil and gas as well as production of bottled waters, but setting up of all these businesses were made possible and wholly financed from proceeds and profits generated from his agricultural enterprise.
He said, in spite of graduating with an Upper Credit in Accountancy from The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro which would have availed him an opportunity of being a professional in accounting field, he identified with farmers and grabbed the opportunity in agricultural sector and today he could be counted among the employers of labour in Nigeria.
Otunba Soewu disclosed further that he decided to share his personal story and experience to encourage unemployed youths in Nigeria urging them to embrace agriculture not to only boost food production but to reduce unemployment and also the poverty rate in Nigeria.