The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono has stated that the mechanization programme of the Ministry, aimed to diversify Nigeria’s economy, will soon commence.
Nanono stated this on Thursday, February 4, while receiving in audience, members of the Nigeria Young Farmers Network in Abuja.
Recall that last year, the Minister announced that mechanized agriculture will commence in 632 Local government Areas in Nigeria.
According to Nanono, the mechanization programme will soon be rolled out, only awaiting the approval of the National Assembly.
He said the programme would ensure that Nigeria achieved food security, job creation and economic growth, which is expected to involve a full technology package transfer that would cover all stages, from agricultural production to industrial processing and marketing.
The minister also called for partnership and collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the sector to drive the mechanization agenda and other laudable programmes of the ministry.
He also noted that the potentials in the sector were enormous and needed to be optimally explored for its huge benefits including creating jobs and economic growth.
Also, in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Deputy Director of Information, Eno Olutu, the minister urged the youth to embrace the mechanization and the livestock programme of the ministry as it targets huge employment platforms for value chain development across board.
According to Nanono, livestock value chain include: cattles, horses, goats, feeds, diaries and among others.
In the mechanization value chain, Nanono said about 632 Local Government Areas across the nation will benefit from the mechanization process providing: Service Centres, Tractors, mechanics and administrators and will be driven by the private sector.
In his remarks, the convener/Director-General of Nigeria Young Farmers Network, Mr Promise Amahah said the group is focused on addressing the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) Goals 1,2,5 and 8 which are focused in mitigating and eradicating hunger, poverty and also achieving inclusive growth.
Hence, he unveiled a programme tagged “Raise a Million Young Farmers Initiative” aimed to target youths across the country.
Promise also explained that the partnership is a moral boaster for youth engagement in agriculture as it will help to further unlock the potentials in the sector
Similarly, the Minister also received on a courtesy visit the Vice-Chancellor of the Kano State University of Science and Technology, (KUST), Wudil , Kano State in company with the newly deployed Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe.
Nanono said the ministry is interested in the university’s agricultural programmes and also in area of technical assistance especially with its faculty of Agriculture .
According to him, “we are trying to refocus the ministry and broaden the perspective in the way and manner we look at agriculture, we are dealing with the development of the resource base of the country of which agriculture is one of them with over 60 million hectares of arable land to cultivate “.
The Vice Chancellor, KUST, Prof Shehu Musa said the visit was to seek support of the ministry in areas of livestock, poultry and mechanization.
Prof Musa said the university is also ready to grab the opportunities of partnership offered by the minister with three key departments of the ministry including fisheries, livestock and extension services, adding that the partnership will benefit Nigerians particularly the youth.