NSE Partners Agriculture Ministry to Boost Food Security

Funmi Ogundare 

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has joined forces with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to advance food security initiatives. 

During a courtesy visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, in Abuja, NSE President, Margaret Aina Oguntala emphasised the crucial role of food security in fostering growth, reducing poverty, and enhancing human well-being. Oguntala highlighted the necessity of pragmatic and proactive measures and stressed the importance of collaboration between NSE and the Ministry to tackle the challenges facing Nigerians in this domain.

Oguntala reiterated NSE’s commitment to supporting food security initiatives and acknowledged the Ministry’s leadership in this field. She assured that NSE would fully support the Ministry’s efforts to quickly realise these initiatives for the benefit of all citizens. 

“NSE is determined to join forces with both the ministry and other private organizations to develop sustainable solutions for Nigeria’s food systems,” she stated.

Oguntala praised the Minister’s significant efforts in realigning the Ministry with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. She also informed the Minister about NSE’s upcoming 2024 International Engineering Conference, Exhibition, and Annual General Meeting in Abuja from November 18 to 22. The theme, “Sustainable Engineering Solutions to Food Security and Climate Change,” was selected to align with President Tinubu’s agenda and his administration’s commitment to ensuring food security.

Additionally, Oguntala presented a proposal for an Agriculture Entrepreneurial Development Programme aimed at boosting agricultural activities. This programme includes the establishment of demonstration farms and Engineering villages across the six geopolitical zones, enabling engineers to apply their expertise in mechanized farming, irrigation systems, and sustainable agricultural practices. These hubs will serve as innovation incubators for developing and testing new agricultural technologies.

Oguntala also highlighted the Entrepreneurship Fairs, which will feature workshops and mentorship programs to foster collaboration between emerging and senior agricultural entrepreneurs. The goal is to attract funding partners from key government entities like the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIMBank), empowering NSE members to scale their agri-businesses and drive economic growth and food security in Nigeria. She sought the Ministry’s collaboration in these efforts.

In response, Sen. Kyari expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership with NSE and noted that the Ministry would leverage NSE’s expertise to achieve government food security goals. He acknowledged that developing sustainable solutions for Nigeria’s food systems is a priority for the administration.

“Nigeria has faced food production challenges for far too long, necessitating a new strategy to reverse the trend. It is due to the difficulties families face that President Tinubu declared a state of emergency on food security upon assuming office,” Kyari stated. He cited challenges such as COVID-19, perennial flooding, insecurity, and currency redesign, which have adversely affected food production and placed citizens in a precarious situation.

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