The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Mr Munir Dan Agundi has affirmed that agriculture remains the best option for the development of Nigeria’s economy.
Dan Agundi, who represents Kumbotso federal constituency in Kano State, made the assertion Monday, during the stakeholders inception meeting of the Kano Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP)/Sasakawa partnership, at the Center for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano.
A statement by Ameen Yassar, Project Communication Specialist, quoted the lawmaker as saying, “While other countries are seeking what to fall back to in these times of global economic recession, we (Nigeria) have nothing to fall back to other than agriculture.
“Agriculture is our major strength. So, we must pay serious attention to it. Activities such as this, the Kano Agro Pastoral Project working with Sasakawa, will help us to revive our economy,” he said.
He opinwed that given Nigeria’s vast arable land and large farming population, agriculture would not only help the country to diversify its economy but also ensure food security and poverty alleviation, which are part of the objectives of the KSADP.
He said that as law makers, members of the National Assembly, NASS, would work towards ensuring that the federal government puts in place, sound policies that would ensure sustainable agricultural and economic development, lamenting however, that policy inconsistency was a major setback to the economy.
The State Project Coordinator, Kano Agro Pastoral development Project, Ibahim Muhammad, represented by the Project Crop Specialist, Abdullahi Raba, explained that the cooperation between KSADP and Sasakawa, was to develop targeted crop value chains, develop rural infrastructure, promote marketing enterprises and build the capacity of farmers.
“In this regard, our project will count on engagement with private sector so as that deliver on our interventions and eventually achieve the objectives of eradicating poverty, creation more jobs and ensuring food security in Kano”, he assured.
In his remarks, the Country Director, Sasakawa Africa/SG 2000, Prof. Sani Miko, explained that the meeting was convened as part of measures to ensure that the KSADP/Sasakawa partnership started on the right footing.
“We want to ensure that we do not disappoint the small holder farmer. We will make the farmers more functional by not only giving them technical support but also building two-way confidence and trust”, he assured.
The meeting, which was attended by representatives of research institutions and the private sector, agreed to arrange a stakeholders’ implementation planning meeting, to assign specific roles and responsibilities to partners, share relevant documents for better understanding of the project and to explore ways to integrate e-extension in the project, among other things.