The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has advocated for technology based agriculture as a means for sustainable food security and sufficiency for the nation’s growing population.
Ogbeh, at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting held at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State, called on all stakeholders to support the Federal Government’s efforts towards re-positioning the agricultural sector.
The minister who was represented by the director Extension Services in the ministry, Dr Karima Babangida, stressed the need for the agricultural sector to truly become the nation’s ‘Green Alternative’ to Oil in promoting national economic growth .
The goal of every nation is to produce sufficient food to feed its populace in order to avert crisis or possibly export for revenue generation. However, Nigeria as the most populous black nation in the world, not only battling to sustain food sufficiency for its teeming population, but cannot export to other parts of the world.
This annual Research Review and Planning meeting organized by the Institute for Agricultural Research is aimed at enabling farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector access the current technologies and information, to reduce farm drudgery and improve crop production.
This year’s forum with the theme : ‘ Harnessing the potentials of Agricultural Export in Nigeria; the role of key stakeholders’, is in tandem with the current drive by the present administration to re-position agriculture as a major alternative of revenue generation than over dependence on crude oil.
Deliberations at this forum are expected to focus on research accomplishments and crop improvement , which include maize, cowpea, cotton, beans, sorghum cultivation among others.
The representative of the Minister of Agriculture is of the suggestion for the National Agricultural Extension system to effectively support farmers to adopt global best practices in the cultivation of the various commodities to ensure high quality farm outputs.
The Minister maintains that the support of the present administration triggered a visible shift to eating what the country grows rather than eating imported food.