Nigeria to export rice in 2 years — FG

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, says with the phenomenal increase in rice production and processing in the country, Nigeria will be exporting the commodity in the next two years. The minister stated this on Thursday in Kura, Kano State, during an assessment tour of the impact of the border drill on the entire rice production value chain.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Nanono and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, led stakeholders and a team of journalists on inspection of cluster of cottage rice mills in Kura.

The team also visited four integrated rice mills in the state which are Al-Hamsad Rice, Kura Brothers Rice Mill, Tiamin Rice Ltd and Umza International Farms.

“The way and manner we are going in the production of rice, in the next two years, we will start exporting rice outside the country. “For those that are worried about the partial close of our borders, we are not doing this to hurt the people but to protect the future of the country, provide jobs and food sufficiency.

“Government will continue to give support to rice farmers to achieve this goal,” he said.

Source: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/nigeria-to-export-rice-in-2-years-fg.html

IITA to present digital tools in cassava and maize farming systems to policymakers

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in the framework of the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) will on Monday present a series of digital innovation tools in cassava and maize cultivation to policy makers in Nigeria to empower extension workers and farmers in the country.

Commissioners of Agriculture and Rural Development, Permanent Secretaries as well as heads of Agricultural Development Programs (ADP) from more than 24 states are among the key stakeholders expected at the official presentation billed to take place at a one-day meeting on the IITA campus in Ibadan on 2 December 2019.

The theme of the event is tagged: “Digital Tools: Disruptive innovations in cassava/maize farming systems.’’

Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General, explains that the institute is sharing the digital tools with state government officials to help solve the problem of poor extension services which is one of the major reasons why Nigeria’s agricultural sector has underperformed in the last three decades. “Currently, extension- farmer ratio in some states is estimated at one extension agent to 4000 farmers,” he said. “These large numbers of farmers per extension agent undermine the effectiveness of the traditional extension system.

According to Dr Alfred Dixon, IITA Director for Development & Delivery, “The objective of this one-day meeting is to share these digital tools with commissioners of agriculture, permanent secretaries, and other state actors for dissemination in their various states to empower the extension system and farmers.

“Through this approach, we hope that states across Nigeria will be able to increase their agricultural productivity and ultimately the incomes of farmers,” Dr Dixon who successfully led the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project added.

In the last 5 years, the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project has developed integrated weed control methods that are helping farmers to double the productivity of cassava and maize. These recommendations are being scaled out to farmers through a variety of digital platforms in the framework of the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI).

The ACAI project has already distributed mobile phones and mini-projectors loaded with videos on the Decision Support Tools to extension agents. The agents, in the first phase of dissemination, are working in Oyo and Benue States using videos to educate farmers in rural areas on the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices.

“Engaging policymakers at this point will help in amplifying the use of these digital tools for the benefit of resource poor farmers,” Dr Dixon added.

The tools to be presented include videos, radio programs, cassava seed tracker, Akilimo, IITA Herbicide Calculator, e-commerce site and IITA News App.

Source: https://reliefweb.int/report/nigeria/iita-present-digital-tools-cassava-and-maize-farming-systems-policymakers

Agric sector employs 38 percent of total working population – NACCIMA

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has described the agricultural sector as a major and very important sector of the economy that employs about 38percent of the total working population and accounts for a large share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, who spoke at the conference, noted that recent success in the sector had demonstrated that with the right policies, Nigeria can scale up productive activities, improve food production and food security as well as make impact within the agricultural value chain.

Hajiya Saratu, who was represented by the Chairman, NACCIMA Agric Trade Group, Chief Ade Adefeko, said that the African Development Bank stated that about $35billion is spent on food imports annually across the continent despite the fact that Africa is home to two-third of the world’s most arable uncultivated land.

She commended the collaborative efforts of the Daily Trust newspaper and the Nigerian Economic Summit  Group (NESG) for successfully hosting the 3rd edition of the conference, which she said has grown to become an important forum for Nigeria’s Agriculture and its value chain; a useful platform  that brings farmers, investors, financiers as well as SMEs together.

Source:https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/agric-sector-employs-38-percent-of-total-working-population-naccima.html

Nigeria targets agricultural output of N38.4tn by 2036

The Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NISRAL), has said by increasing hectarage and yield using fertilizers, seeds, adopting good cultural practices, the nation’s agricultural sector output is expected to hit N38.4 trillion by 2036.

According to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NISRAL Plc, Aliyu Abdulhameed, opportunities in the agricultural space is huge with just 43 percent of 84 million hectares cultivated, while over $22 million sizes of the investment is waiting to be harnessed by business leaders and investors in the agricultural space.. He spoke at a symposium on financing agribusiness organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in Lagos.

Abdulhameed, who was represented by the Head, Balance Sheet Financing and Portfolio Management, Ernest Ihedigbo, said Nigeria must imbibe a good agricultural practice to have a share of the $5 trillion global agribusiness industry.He added: “In 2016, the value of agricultural production was N14.85 trillion, and if we are to increase yield by using fertiliser and quality seeds, we will add another N10.3 trillion. If we are to increase hectarage from the current 41 million hectares to about 48 million hectares, an additional, we will add another N7.8 trillion. All these activities if consistent would shoot the agricultural output to about N38.4 trillion by 2036.”

He said the agribusiness has been affected by broken value chains, perceived high risk, high transaction cost and inadequate funding, adding that the sector grew by 2.1 percent in an era where other sectors were struggling, and called on local and foreign investors to take advantage of Nigeria’s huge agricultural sector.

Earlier, the President, LCCI, Babatunde Ruwase, said the theme of the event tagged, “Making agribusiness bankable: Lenders and investors expectations” could not have come at a better time when there is an urgent need to diversify the country’s productive base.He said the World Bank projects that by 2030, the African food market will grow to be a $1 trillion industry, saying that Nigeria must scale up investments in improving agriculture yield and integrating the value chain over the next decade to effectively capture a significant share of the market.

He pointed out that agriculture financing in Nigeria is largely dependent on government funding, financial institutions, private investment and institutional funding.He noted that agribusiness has not enjoyed robust credit flow from financial institutions and private investor over the years partly because of the perception that projects in the value chain have longer payback period and relatively less profit margin.

Citing official data, he said agriculture attracted $169.37 million between April and June, which is mere three per cent of total foreign capital brought into the country, saying that during that period, bank credit to the agriculture sector was less than five per cent in the same period.

The Chairperson, Financial Services Group, LCCI, Mojisola Bakare, said despite laudable initiatives, credit to the sector remains largely stifled. She maintained that evidence shows that the total bank loans to the agric sector is only about four per cent of the total lending of commercial banks credit, which she said is below the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) seven per cent target.

“This outcome indicates that there are expectation gaps between the financial industry/owners of funds on one hand, and the agriculture operators/demander of funds on the other hand. Inability of the agribusiness owners to understand the metrics and risk criteria used by the financial institutions in assessing bankability and viability of agriculture and allied projects, inhibit access to finance,” she said.

Source: https://guardian.ng/business-services/nigeria-targets-agricultural-output-of-n38-4tn-by-2036/

2019 wheat season: Institute trains farmers on Egyptian technique

Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) that has the national mandate on wheat production in Nigeria had begun training of  wheat farmers on new mechanised farming techniques adopted from Egypt. The new wheat farming method involves the use of a combine planter and ridge making machine aimed at improving wheat production in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Zonal coordinator Technology for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), Professor Ibrahim Umar Abubakar during the 2019 pre-season training workshop for irrigated wheat and the launching of this year’s wheat farming season organized for wheat farmers by LCRI in collaboration with TAAT, Sasakawa Africa, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and other agricultural development agencies held in Kano.

According to him, the newly adopted techniques would be demonstrated to farmers in some selected farms for the farmers to see the efficacy of the techniques, adding that the techniques adopted from Egypt has the capability of increasing wheat yield per hectare as against what was obtainable using the previous techniques which he said produces little to the farmer.

“This new techniques involve the use of a machine that ridge as well as planting at the same time, this will prevent the damages that usually occur in wheat farms as a result of too much water. We hope with these new techniques, our wheat farmers will be lifted out of their predicaments this season,” he said. President Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) Alhaji Salim Muhammad stated that, wheat farmers have been operating on lost for quite a long time, adding that, the training on the new adopted techniques would no doubt assist farmers to improve their yield per hectare.

The President also urged authorities to as a matter of urgency ensure that, all interventions meant for wheat farmers reach them in good time.

Reference: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/2019-wheat-season-institute-trains-farmers-on-egyptian-technique.html

Smallholder women farmers seek review of FCT agric budget

The Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) has called for a comprehensive review of the 2020 agriculture budget for the FCT.

It made the call in its communique after the 2019 FCT Consultative/Citizens dialogue on the FCT Agriculture Budget forum held in Abuja.

ADVERTISEMENT The forum was organized by SWOFON and the budget committee members of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Budgit, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Regents, International Budget Partnership (IBP), Trade Network Initiative (TNI), Centre-LSD and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) under the ActionAid Public Financing for Agriculture Budget (PFA) Project.

Participants said smallholder farmers, who are producers of over 70 percent of the food consumed in the FCT, are not currently involved formally in the agriculture budgeting planning processes.

They said there is no formal guideline for involving smallholder women farmers in the budget cycle in the FCT as a result of which the budget is not a reflection of farmers’ needs and demands.

“The budget-line allocation to ‘Women in Agriculture’ in the FCT Budget needs to be broken down to line items for proper understanding of the programme.

“To facilitate smallholder women’s access to the programme it should reflect capital projects in the FCT agriculture sector supported by improved monitoring procedures by the Agriculture Development Programme. “MDAs and Bill and Appropriation committees of the National Assembly need to approve and ensure timely release of the 2020 appropriated FCT Agriculture Budget,” the communique also said.

“Smallholder women farmers should advocate for group consultation in the review or finalization of the agriculture policy document, where the policy does not exist or is obsolete,” it added. hhttps://www.dailytrust.com.ng/smallholder-women-farmers-seek-review-of-fct-agric-budget.html

Youths Development through Rural Farming

About 500 million young people – about half of the youth population of developing countries – living in rural areas are prone to poverty, inequality and are faced with a range of challenges.
These challenges include lack of training and skills, limited access to land and credit, scarce inputs and restricted links to social networks.

These challenges, however, can be turnaround with Agroecological potential in their environment.
Speaking ahead of the G7 meeting held recently in Paris, France, the President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), President, Gilbert Houngbo, had said, “No stability in the Sahel without rural development and job creation for young people, economic transformation of rural areas and the creation of jobs for millions of young rural people are pre-conditions to stability in the Sahel.”

The president, who took the message to the ministerial meeting on development, stated that if given the opportunity, young rural people could drive development in their communities. “We need the right policies and investments in place before they can have any hope of doing so,” he said.

According to IFAD, in the Sahel, the number of young people is unprecedented, with over 60 per cent of the population below 25 years of age, two thirds of youth live in rural areas and are poorer and more often lack access to employment, skills, financial services and technology than adults.

According to Houngbo, failing to act has given rise to a lost generation of young people without hope or direction, which contributes to an increased risk of forced economic migration and fragility.
The IFAD 2019 Rural Report added that among rural, semi-rural and peri-urban young people, 67 per cent live in areas with strong agricultural potential, but many have limited access to markets.

According to the report, “With greater access to skills training, markets, financial services and technologies, these young people could become more productive, connected and in charge of their own future. It however warns that policy-makers need to act quickly, pointing to the impacts of climate change on agriculture, the need to seize the opportunities presented by the digital revolution, and the growing aspirations and demands of young people themselves.”

Nigerian Agriculture Promotion Policy This policy which was to build on the Successes of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the previous government by closing key gaps identified, was also to provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem.

Many people say Nigerian economy is blessed with series of natural resources, yet they suffer in the midst of plenty. Currently, Nigeria has over 80 per cent of its land arable but of which less than 40 per cent of the land is cultivated despite the country’s teeming population and level of unemployment.

In a paper presentation titled, “Agriculture Promotion Policy 2016-2020 and Rural Development in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects,” by Felix Ojong and Bassey Anam, Department of Sociology, Institute of Public Policy and Administration, University of Calabar; agreed that the challenge facing the Nigerian agricultural sector is historical.

According to them, judging from previous experiences of inadequate implementation of development policies in Nigeria and further assessing the policy framework of the Nigeria Promotion Policy, there are a lot of concerns.

“These issues are central and must be addressed to ensure the prospects of implementing the policy for the general wellbeing of the Nigerian rural economy.

“The Nigerian rural economy is still faced with the challenge of subsistent farming. “This affects the inability to meet domestic food requirements in rural Nigeria. Although there is a provision for private partnership in this regard, the policy has not stated in clear terms how the vulnerable rural poor will be able to access farming support programmes without collaterals.

“Food processing issues also affect the prospects of Agriculture Promotion Policy in Nigeria. It is estimated that about 20-40 per cent of the yearly harvest is lost during processing. The primary cause is the lack of efficient harvesting techniques,” they stated.

They further noted that most rural farmers harvest crops by hand, instead of using machines. Also, storage methods are not generally up to standards. They noted that most of the crops are lost to physical damage caused by insects, bacteria, or fungus. They writers insisted that Nigeria must adopt modern technology in food storage and rural farmers must be trained accordingly

Generally, there is less incentive for local farmers to grow local foods when cheaper, more palatable foods are imported. This forces local farmers to reduce prices, which reduces the income generated by the farm. The consequence is decreased farm production.

To combat the effects of imported food on development, several initiatives are suggested, including providing farmers with micro-credit that is subsidised and increasing tariffs on imported food.

Agricultural Comparative Advantage
Adding his voice recently, the U.S. Consul General in Lagos, Mr. John Bray, urged Nigeria to leverage on its vast agricultural potential to create wealth and boost its economy.

Bray added: “The task before Nigeria is to show the world its enormous potential in agriculture. Nigeria needs to use agriculture to create wealth, employment and grow its economy, U.S. is doing that and Nigeria can do that too.

“In the next 50 years, what produce will be known around the world as a signature product from Nigeria? Would it be shea butter, tiger nut, cashew or palm oil; Nigeria has the comparative advantage in these produce and more and should explore it the same way the US explored cranberry potential to create wealth,” he said

Unhealthy Trends
But, Mr. Taiwo Agboola, who resides in Ilorin, said, most of the youths in the rural areas are not willing and ready to go to farm any more, all they are interested in is how to make quick money.
He said also that within Ganmo community, in Ifelodun Local Government Area (LGA), Kwara State, they prepare to engage in selling of land handed over to the them by their forefathers.

According to him, “However those ones who are willing and ready to farm, they do not have enough resources to buy farm tools, as most of them engage in traditional mode of farming; so they do not have capital to buy cutlass, holes, fertilizer.

“The few once that are into this farming get to a stage where they become tired and this is discouraging because they are using traditional ways of farming.

“Due to the strenuous nature of farming with crude implement and local techniques, farming has become very tedious for today’s youths,” he explained.

On what could be done to help rural youths that are ready to improve their livelihood through farming, Agoola noted that was not all about money, stressing the importance of education and training on modern farming techniques like Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).

Stakeholders Engagement
Recently, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, called on stakeholders in the agriculture sector to see agriculture as a combination of business and development platform by concentrating on value chains where the state has comparative advantage.
This, according to him, would enable them develop strategic partnership that would stimulate investment in the state.

Lawal, who stated this at an ‘Agricultural Stakeholders Engagement,’ meeting in Lagos, said the state government was committed to ensuring the attainment of food sufficiency.

He said that the stakeholders’ engagement was convened in order to, “provide syndrome in policy decision making in governance,” adding that the contributions and inputs of major stakeholders were important towards the attainment of the state’s THEME agenda for the agricultural sector.

The commissioner noted that the goal was to train 15,000 people with the expected outcome of creating capacity to serve consumer demands and with an expected output of large scale dissemination of productivity-increasing capacity program and increase investment into enabling infrastructure and capacity building.

He listed some of the current initiatives of the state government in the sector to include the establishment of 32 tonnes per hour rice mill at Imota; the Lagos –Kebbi states collaboration on rice value chain development; Agricultural Based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES ); Agric-YES Songhai Model ; Farm Estates Initiative – Fishery, Poultry, Piggery and Vegetables; Quality Input Supply with Robust Business Model and the collaboration with Development Partners such as World Bank assisted Project (APPEALS), DAWN Commission and CBN among others.

“A state with food security and improved nutrition will no doubt achieve sufficiency in comparative advantage of food staples and sufficient market infrastructure that will also ensure competitiveness thereby being the catalyse flows of agricultural finance through increased partnerships with multilateral and donor agencies.” he noted.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this will lead to increased IGR for the state government on one hand as well as leverage potential of other states and access to the Lagos markets. A well-funded private sector capable of scaling emergent agri-business successes will lead to increased inclusivity and sustainable practices,” the Commissioner noted.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos Governor on Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, also commended the stakeholders at the engagement session for willing to collaborate with the state government in developing the roadmap that would guide and reshape the role of agriculture in Lagos.

Similarly, the Yobe state government also organised its first agricultural retreat so as to formulate implementation strategies for the state government.

The committee would be chaired by Professor Abba Gambo, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the Yobe State University, Damaturu.

He said, as in many states across the country, majority of the people in Yobe State engage in farming as a primary source of livelihood, describing agriculture as the linchpin of the nation’s economy.

He also said, “at a time when our country continues to look for ways to diversify the economy, create more jobs and lift people out of poverty, it does not seem as if we are making the best of agriculture as the best alternative for wealth creation. “Despite abundance of land and the energy of our people, agriculture here in Yobe State still remains largely subsistent.”

reference:https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2019/09/26/youth-development-through-rural-farming/

Nigeria seeks assistance in improving agric sector research

The Nigerian government has called for the assistance of its development partners in intensifying researches in the country’s agricultural sector.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, made the call on Tuesday, according to a statement by the ministry.

Mr Nanono spoke while receiving a delegation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in his office.

The delegation was led by the Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, Tom Kehoe.

Mr Nanono said agricultural researches are critical to growth in the sector and would ensure food security in Nigeria and called for cooperation with the Foundation.

He said Nigeria is interested in cooperation with the Foundation in exploring economic opportunities for smallholder farmers.

He said the organisation can also assist the government in its efforts towards creating a business climate that would attract private sector investment and produce innovations that would enable Nigerian farmers to adapt to climate change.

The minister said the outcome of the researches would improve seedling for the Nigerian environment and boost food production in the country.

Mr Nanono further said researches would improve the agricultural value chain and help in increasing Internally Generated Revenue and alleviate poverty, which goals he said are key components of the Next Level agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.

The minister said researches would encourage standardisation of agricultural products in Nigeria and also develop capacity-building that would sustain the large population.

Earlier, Mr Kehoe spoke on the work of the Foundation in the Nigerian agricultural sector.

‘’Our investment is backing efforts to develop disease-resistant varieties that are more nutritious and can be easily processed to meet demands for cassava’s many commercial uses, which range from making bread and beer to bio-gradable packing,’’ he said.

He said the Foundation was “increasingly viewing agriculture investment through the lens of climate change and its impact on smallholder farmers.

“A key goal is to support innovations that can help farmers adapt,” he said.

Reference: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/351845-nigeria-seeks-assistance-in-improving-agric-sector-research.html

Adesina says AfDB investing $25bn in agriculture, agribusiness

The African Development Bank (AfDB), says it is currently investing 25 billion dollars to help make agriculture and agribusiness Africa’s biggest industry.

The statement by the bank’s Communication and External Relations Department on Thursday, said the AfDB’s president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina made the disclosure at the ongoing Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) in Japan.

Adesina said the reason was not far-fetched and predicted that the size of food and agriculture would rise to one trillion dollars by 2030.

According to him, a lot of progress has been made in this renewed drive to transform agriculture on the continent

“The AfDB inaugurated the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to help ramp up technologies to millions of farmers.

“TAAT connects the global agricultural research centres, national agricultural research centres, private sector and agricultural value chains in Africa, in an unprecedented effort to connect the supply and demand side of technologies seamlessly.

“For the first time, accountability was built into the approach, with technology delivery compacts signed by all participating institutions and partners.

“TAAT partners, which include the World Bank, AGRA, IFAD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have mobilised one billion dollars.

“The results are impressive. Last year alone, the TAAT maize compact helped to deliver water efficient maize across the Southern Africa region that was experiencing severe drought.

“Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced more than 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers in just one year,’’he said.

He said Africa must feed itself and it must do more than that while the continent must also turn itself into a global power-house in food production.

According to him, the bank is working to turn agriculture into a business, one that creates wealth, jobs and delivers improved quality of life to millions of farmers.

“A business that transforms the rural economies of Africa from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity.

“While the Bank’s High 5s are to Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Lives of the People of Africa, much of my remarks will be limited to what it will take to Feed Africa,’’ he said. 

Source: https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/afdb-investing-dollar25bn-in-agriculture-agribusiness-adesina/gwnk2f2

Nigeria asked to double investment in the agricultural sector

Dr Nteranya Sanginga, Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has advised Nigeria to double investment in the agricultural sector.

In addition, Dr Sanginga said this should be backed by a vibrant rural infrastructural network development.

“No matter our good intentions, we will not see a transformation in agriculture if we continue to invest less than 10 per cent of our budget on agriculture,” Dr Sanginga said during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, in Ibadan.

Speaking in Oyo State, Dr Sanginga noted that although African governments committed to investing at least 10 per cent of their annual budget in agriculture in Maputo, Mozambique in 2003, only a handful of these have fulfilled the promise.

“One of the countries that have fulfilled the commitment is Ethiopia…Ethiopia is today investing more than 10 per cent and that country is witnessing a rapid transformation in agriculture,” Dr Sanginga explained.

Making reference to the Oyo State Agricultural Policy framework, the IITA boss said that Oyo state’s investment in agriculture had nosedived from about 7 per cent to 2 per cent from 1995 to 2017, adding that the new administration needs to reverse the trend.

On rural infrastructure, Dr Sanginga said the government should pay close attention to rehabilitation of rural roads (feeder roads) to help the transportation of agricultural products from the farm to the markets.

He decried the deterioration of infrastructure in several farm settlements in Oyo state and urged the government to tackle the trend.

Dr Sanginga also called on the government to seek ways to involve the youths in agriculture, stressing that inclusiveness was imperative for sustainability in the agricultural development agenda of the state.

In his response, Governor Makinde commended the IITA DG for the courtesy visit and pledged the commitment of the state to work with IITA to achieve agricultural transformation.

The governor noted that his administration had identified four pillars: education, rural infrastructure, economic development (agriculture), and security to help bring the dividends of democracy to the people of Oyo state.

He noted that for the state to attain economic development, agriculture must be transformed.

“This is because most of our people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Besides, through agricultural transformation, we will be able to provide the needed jobs for our youths…the jobs we promised during the election campaigns,” he added.

On infrastructure, the governor said work on one of the major agricultural roads (Moniya to Iseyin) would commence soon. On completion, the road would ease the movement of farm produce to the market. He also said that discussions were in top gear with the federal government to rehabilitate the Oyo town-Iseyin road.

On the courtesy visit to the Governor were Drs Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery); Alfred Dixon, Director for Development & Delivery; Tahirou Abdoulaye, Impact Economist; Godwin Atser, Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist; Toyin Oke, Manager, Resource Mobilization, Protocol and External Liaison; Oludamilare Odusanya and Adetola Adenmosun, IITA Youth Agripreneurs.

The meeting with the Governor was facilitated by Debo Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness.

Source:http://africasciencenews.org/nigeria-asked-to-double-investment-in-the-agricultural-sector/