By Oluchi Chibuzor
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has revealed that the federal government is currently reviewing the nation’s agricultural policy.
This, according to him, would help revitalise existing agricultural policies in order to meet the needs and aspirations of President Muhammadu Buhari in diversifying the economy, using agriculture as a driving force.
Nanono, stated this in a statement issued by the Director, Information (FMARD), Ezeaja Ikemefuna, at the inauguration of the Centre for Dryland Agriculture Farm (CDA) and Agri- Business Incubation Centre in Bayero University, Kano State.
Speaking during the ceremony, Nanono noted that the mnistry was aware of the achievements recorded by the CDA since its inception in 2012.
He said such achievements would not have been possible without the tremendous support from the university’s management and staff.
Nanono, however stressed that the nation was proud that the centre emerged as 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 his decision to include its leadership to be among the team of experts that are currently developing the new Agricultural policy and strategic plan for the country.
“Value chain approach to reposition the sector through implementing policy instruments for enterprise development across successive stages of the commodity Value chains was commendable and assured that the strategy would further enhance the development of the crops, livestock and fishery sub sectors,” he said.
On the CDA, Nanono urged institutions like Worldbank, BUK, and others to support the ministry in building human capacity in land and water management, livelihoods and natural resources management at the regional and national levels, adding that it will help in combating the Global Climate Change and its effect on Agricultural productivity.
“The centre must be 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.”
The Director, Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Prof Jirbrin Mohammed said, “under the new ACE IMPACT Project, the CDA plans to establish a Regional innovation, training and Entrepreneurship Accelerator (RITEA), where the Youth will be trained in modern intensive agriculture (both in field and in protected environments) and bioresource Entrepreneurship “.