28th January, 2014
Nigeria’s pop music star, D’Banj, has said that he is considering delving into full scale farming to help fight poverty and encourage many African youths to embrace agriculture as a means of livelihood.
He was also made the organisation’s face of 2014 Year of Agriculture Campaign as declared by the Africa Union.
“As a face of the ONE Organisation’s initiative to drive full participation in agriculture, I have to live by example. I am going to engage in agriculture personally to encourage millions of African youths who look up to me as a role model. I need to let them know that unlike the old stereotype of farming which was considered a punishment, modern farming on the contrary, is a cool source of employment for many graduates,” said D’Banj.
According to him, there should be a change where many youths are expected to embrace agriculture and see it as a potentially high-yielding venture to tackle hunger and poverty on the continent.
“Agriculture is life and it is everything that we live for. It is the only way forward for us in Africa. There are many potentials we are missing out and if we could focus on it, the continent can actually feed the rest of the world,” he said.
D’Banj noted that he once tried in his own little way to tackle hunger by going into Koko Gari project not really on a large scale. But now that he is working with ONE Organisation and has been exposed to the potentials in agriculture, he is ready to get involved deeply.
Also speaking at the launch of the campaign, Camerounian-born Nde Ndifonka, Media Manager, Africa, ONE Organisation, said the organisation is keen on pushing the continent’s leaders to stop paying lip service to the funding of agriculture.
He noted that after 10 years of AU’s affirmation that African countries should devote at least 10 percent of the annual budget to agriculture, only three countries-Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin have met the target.
Ndifonka said there should be change in paradigm and ONE is championing a petition to force the leaders to increase their funding and help tackle poverty and hunger on the continent.
He disclosed that D’Banj will lead the campaign, sign the petition and get other celebrities across Africa to sign for onward delivery to the leaders at their AU Summit coming up in June.