The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, has pledged to revitalise existing agricultural policies toward realising the goal of diversifying Nigeria’s economy, using agriculture as a driving force.
Nanono, in a statement by the Director Information, Mr Theodore Ogaziechi, said that the value chain approach to repositioning the sector through implementing policy instruments for enterprise development across successive stages of the commodity value chains was commendable.
According to the statement, the minister made this known while commissioning the Centre for Dryland Agriculture Farm (CDA), and Agri-Business Incubation Centre in Bayero University, Kano(BUK).
Nanono said that the ministry was aware of the noble achievements recorded by the CDA since its inception in 2012, noting that such remarkable achievements would not have been possible without the support of the university’s management.
Nanono said that the nation was proud that the Centre emerged one of the best 22 African Centres of Excellence across the West and Central Africa.
“It is worth noting that the competences and the experiences gained by this Centre over the years informed the decision to include its leadership among the team of experts currently developing the new agricultural policy and strategic plan for the country.
“It is my hope that the farm and the Agic-Business Incubation Centre that I am commissioning today will further help in realising this dream.”
Nanono urged government institutions like BUK and Centres like CDA, to support the ministry in building the human capacity in land and water management, livelihoods and natural resources management at the regional and national levels.
According to him, it will help in combating global climate change and its effect on Agricultural productivity.
The minister appealed to the centre to focus on building the capacity of women, youth and small- scale farmers in modern agriculture through generating and communicating appropriate technologies and innovations capable of enhancing Agricultural productivity and income.
He commended the World Bank for its initiative and support to the institution in achieving the novel goals of the Centre and stated that the project was unique, especially in its capacity to provide treated water to the health facility and the community.
The Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Muhammad Bello, said that BUK was one of the few elite universities to complete phase 111 of the World Bank ACE project titled ACE IMPACT.
According to him, when the call was made in 2018 for submission of entries, two of the proposals from BUK were successful, making BUK one of the few elite Universities in Africa with more than one Africa Centre of Excellence.
“The successful centres are the Africa Centres for Excellence in Reproductive Health and Policy, which won a grant of six million dollars and the renewal of the Africa Centre of Excellence in Dryland Agriculture, with a grant of five million dollars.”
The Director, Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Prof. Jirbrin Mohammed, said that under the new ACE IMPACT Project, the CDA plans to establish a Regional Innovation, Training and Entrepreneurship Accelerator (RITEA), where youths would be trained in modern intensive agriculture both in the field and in protected environments and bio-resource Entrepreneurship.
He pointed out that the resources and facilities in the CDA would be harnessed to support the Federal Government’s efforts towards improving agricultural productivity and diversifying the Nigerian economy.