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Council to reposition agric sector for job creation, food security

By on March 22, 2011

THE National Council on Agriculture is to review developments in the sector, with a view to repositioning it for improved job creation and enhanced national food security.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Fatima Bamidele, said this while declaring open the 38th session of the council’s meeting, in Abuja, yesterday.

Bamidele said that the review would help in meeting the Millenium Development Goals and accomplishing the realistic targets set in the Vision 20:2020 document.

According to her, the meeting will deliberate on the private sector involvement in the value chain intervention and participatory approaches to community-based projects.

It would also discuss the provision of guaranteed minimum price for farmers, the revitalised cooperatives, as well as the provision of market information to all stakeholders, among others.

Another major area of focus, she said, would be encouraging youths in farming.

She stressed that the need to encourage youths in agriculture could not be overemphasised, as most of the rural farmers were ageing.

“Encouraging youths in farming reminds me of the central theme of the meeting of the 34th Governing Council of the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), which held in Rome, Italy, recently,” she said.

She recalled that the meeting dwelt extensively on the need to unleash the potential of young rural people by “concertedly deploying the opportunities in agriculture and the agro-allied sector to their advantage and making out of them, productive and prosperous farmers”.

Bamidele called on the council to explore practicable ways of making youths take active interest in agriculture, as a way of life, which she said, would guarantee sustainable food security for all.

The Permanent Secretary also urged the council to take action on agricultural planning, data collection and analysis, monitoring and evaluation.

She also underscored the importance of periodic reporting and dissemination of vital agricultural information to all relevant stakeholders.

“We constantly need correct, up-to-date information on local and global agricultural practices as well as the factors that have both direct and tangential bearing on improved agricultural production, processing, marketing and other relevent issues in the value chain,” she said.

The Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, had called for private sector participation in the development of the agricultural value chain.

Afolabi urged the Ministry of Water Resources to provide adequate water to boost agricultural production.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the ministry was de-merged from agriculture nearly one year ago.

The 37th could meeting held in Katsina in 2010 took far reaching decisions on food shortage, low agricultural productivity, high food prices, threats from pests and diseases, among others.

Source : Guardian

  • Mr. Lai Adeyemi

    DEAR SIR,
    CAN YOU PLS GIVE ME THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF THE PERM SEC OF AGRIC MINISTRY URGENTLY. I HAVE A WORKABLE IDEA THAT WOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEMS