President Muhammadu Buhari has urged more Nigerians to embrace farming, saying he was surprised to hear that only 2.5 per cent of arable lands in the country is being cultivated.
The President said this while addressing journalists at his residence on Tuesday in Daura, the Katsina State capital, after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers.
According to him, the Presidential Economic Advisory Council had notified him that only a small percentage of the land in the country had been used for farming, directing security outfits to work more with communities to create a more friendly environment for farmers.
The President mandated security outfits to be more relentless in maintaining peace in the country, and ensure a more harmonious relationship with communities so that they can glean intelligence.
He said the security situation had improved considerably overtime in the North East and South-South, and efforts were being made in North Central and North West, assuring that more will be done to fish out those that had been troubling the peace of the nation and citizens.
Earlier at the prayer ground, the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk, called on citizens to be more supportive of the President so that he can actualize his vision of improving security and boosting the economy.
“Since the President came into power we have seen some positive changes in the country,” the Emir said.
“May God continue to strengthen the President with good health and courage to bring peace to the country. God will not allow Nigeria to see shame,’’ he said. “God has been keeping the country and he will keep the country.’’
Head of the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr Kanayo Nwanze, says Africa is a leader in world poverty and hunger, as a result of lack of committed leadership and rampant corruption.
Dr kanayo was speaking at the UK’s house of lords on Wednesday.
According to him, despite its rich natural resources including arable land, Africa still generates only 10% of its agricultural output while spending some 35 billion Dollars on food imports each year.
The head of the UN agency then challenged African leaders to stop talking about change but rather, deliver it, particularly investments in small-holder agriculture.
Mr Nwanze who believes the future of agriculture lies in the hands of the continent’s young generation, also called on the youths as well as the government, who he has asked to create an enabling environment.
The Deputy High Commissioner of Israel to Nigeria, Mr Nadav Goren, has urged the Federal Government to enhance close cooperation and interaction between Nigerian scientists, farmers and agro industries.
Mr Goren said that “this would guarantee sustained innovation, vibrancy and growth in the agricultural sector”.
The Deputy High Commissioner of Israel to Nigeria, who spoke ahead of the International 2015 Agric Summit, said that with abundant and young human capital, 84 million hectares of arable land and two of Africa’s biggest water bodies, Nigeria has no reason to fret over the decline in world oil prices and its economic consequences.
Mr Goren said that Nigeria can achieve sustainable food security, process its own raw materials and become competitive in export markets if like Israel, it focuses on acquiring knowledge, technology, strategic contacts and inspired innovation.