With World population predicted to hit over nine billion in less than thirty years and faced with increasing food shortage and poverty, the very important roles of youths in stemming these challenges has been highlighted as the world marks the 2021 International Youth Day.
The day has as its theme as “Transforming Food Systems, Youth Innovations for Human and Planetary Health”.
Correspondent, David Okpokwasili reports that the International Youth Day observed every August twelfth was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in the year 1999 following a recommendation of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon, Portugal.
Speaking at an event organized by the Anambra State Government in Awka to mark the day, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Professor Theresa Obiekezie advised youths of the State to key into innovative government policies in agriculture targeted at Transforming and boosting food sufficiency in Anambra State and Nigeria at large.
Professor Obiekezie highlighted the different financial facilities provided through the Anambra Small Business Agency, ASBA, Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency, FABDA, and other government agencies which young people can use to become self-reliant, create wealth and job opportunities through sustainable agricultural practices.
In different lectures which focused on creating sustainable economic, social, and environmental system in food production value chain , guest speakers at the celebration, a Professor of Animal Management, Cordelia Ebenebe, an ICT Consultant, Dr Ikechukwu Umeh and Public health physician, Dr Chioma Ajator called on youths to come up with innovations to provide solutions to the food needs of Ndị Anambra and Nigeria.
Earlier in their different goodwill messages, the State Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comrade Samuel Egwuatu and the President of the Youth Wing of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Mr Patrick Agha Mba represented by Mr Nkwadochukwuka Onwughalu said it was timely for youths to be involved in the value chain of food production.
The event was attended by members of different community based, political, nongovernmental and faith based youth organizations, and other government agencies and parastatals involved in implementation of youth oriented policies.
Also present at the celebration was the deputy governorship candidate of APGA in the November sixth gubernatorial election, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr Emeka Ozumba among other top government functionaries.