Tinubu: It’s New Dawn for Agriculture, Era of Business as Usual Over

by James Emejo

Abuja, Nigeria

President Bola Tinubu yesterday promised a new era in the country’s agricultural sector, vowing that it would no longer be business as usual as his administration seeks to boost food security as well as diversify the economy from over-reluance on petroleum.

Speaking at the opening of the 6th Africa – Wide Agricultural Extension Week (AAEW), with the Theme: “Harnessing Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services in Scaling Regenerative Agriculture and Nature-Based Solutions for Food System Transformation in Africa”, the president emphasised the huge potential of agriculture as a key driver of the economy.

Represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Tinubu also maintained that agriculture remained a potent tool to fight unemployment, hunger and poverty.

He said it was against this background that his present administration unveiled an 8-point agenda which include food security; poverty eradication; growth, job creation and access to capital among others.

The president reiterated his commitment to restructuring the economy from unnecessary borrowing to finance government programmes as well as create jobs, achieve economic growth, end poverty and ensure prosperity for all Nigerians.

He said going forward, agriculture must now be market-oriented, and move away from the subsistence farming culture currently been practiced by smallholder farmers.

To achieve this, he stated that the government came up with programmes including the National Agriculture Growth Scheme-Agro-pocket, where millions of farmers are supported through training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), certified inputs such as improved seeds and organic and inorganic fertilizers and irrigation equipment at highly subsidised prices to enhance their production, increase productivity and ultimately higher incomes to farmers.

The president specifically noted that agricultural extension plays a critical role in bringing relevant and improved technologies developed by National Agricultural Research Institutions (NARIs), inputs suppliers and marketers to farmers.

He said to strengthen agricultural extension delivery services in the country, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has put together the first ever Harmonised Extension Manual in Nigeria and National Agricultural Extension Policy – both of which he also launched during the event.

He explained that the harmonised extension manual focuses on how to effectively disseminate and deploy agricultural innovations/technologies to end-users using appropriate extension methods.

He said the document would be of great benefit to extension administrators, subject matter specialists, extension agents as well as farmers along the agricultural value chains.

Similarly, the agricultural extension policy seeks to provide a pragmatic, effective and efficient demand driven plurastic, ICT-enabled and market-oriented extension service to all stakeholders including youths, women, and people with special needs to optimally use resources to promote sustainable agriculture and socio-economic development of the country.

Tinubu, also reassured Nigerians of his government’s renewed commitments towards attaining food security in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.

He said, “Our resolve is to develop the agricultural sector towards the attainment of the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially those of zero hunger and to improve agriculture and rural productivity.

“Nigeria’s current plan is to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and reduce dependency on food imports.”

He added that the present administration remained open to suggestions that could, “enhance our efficiency and effectiveness in repositioning Nigeria agriculture and I hope this conference will  come up with actionable solutions to agricultural challenges in Nigeria.”

He hailed the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services, (AFAAS) for coming up with the conference as well as development partners including USAID, GIZ, IFPRI, among others for their support to creating a platform where African countries interact to channel the best course of action aimed at agricultural extension service delivery for agricultural prosperity.

He also commended their efforts that culminated in the production of Harmonised extension services manual and policy framework.

One Comment

  1. May 2, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    Fine

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