The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has said that agricultural technology would enhance productivity, boost revenue generation and revolutionise the agricultural sector.
He added that it will fast-track an increase in yield, better packaging of agricultural products and attract foreign investors.
Speaking during the handing over/ taking over of the China-Aid Nigeria Demonstration Centre project in Bwari, Abuja, recently, Shehuri, who was represented by the director, department of rural development, Engr. Udo Daniel stated the project would ensure the transition from the small-scale production model to a specialised commercial agricultural model.
Shehuri revealed that the objectives of the project were to provide and transfer advanced technology to the Nigerian youths as an enterprise, to train local farmers in advanced technology to enhance the productivity and well-being of Nigerian farmers.
He added that it would train farmers on agro- processing technology, cultivating their interest in becoming micro and small-scale entrepreneurs geared towards owning their agri-business.
“The history of this project [is] dated 10th July 2013, while the actual construction work started in 2021 and was completed on October 10, 2022, after a series of documentation. Facilities at the centre are world-class and include agricultural technology training and research centres, processing and exhibition centres, irrigation facilities and farmland demonstration.”
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba, who was represented by Mrs. Fatima Sheji, said “the bilateral relations between the two countries started back in 1971 and has been cordial, bringing about so many developmental activities across the country”.
In his welcome address, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jian Chun said his country will continue to strengthen bilateral relations with Nigeria in terms of military, electricity and agricultural development, to improve and ensure food and security in the country.
He revealed that the farm produce ranges from hybrid rice, beans, cassava, yam, corn, among others, with modern, mechanised farm equipment to ease the process between planting and harvesting.
Earlier, in his goodwill message, the chairman of Bwari area council, Hon. John Gabaya, represented by the supervising councillor for environment and forestry, Hon. Salihu Mathew said the council has been peaceful and receptive to strangers. “It is a singular honour to have this type of development in his territory,” he said.
A statement by the ministry’s director of information, signed by Mohammed Gana, said the project covers an area of 31.38 hectares with a total area of 3,521.55 square meters for each building and about 20,000 square meters for the access road of the park and supporting construction works on elevated areas on both sides of the dam.