The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has called for robust collaboration and cooperation amongst African nations particularly in the agricultural sector, to promote food sufficiency.
He made this call when he received a delegation from Kenya’s National Defence College (NDC) Course No 24 led by its deputy commandant, Ambassador Robert Ngesu, in Abuja.
The minister averred that it would be more advantageous for Africa to look beyond common borders and harness the enormous and vast agricultural potentials across the food value chains.
“The Agricultural sector is the foundation of economic growth in any given society or nation, we have tremendous natural resources, we must be seen as working together and sit up to become self-sufficient in food.
“The Federal Government through the ministry intends to promote agricultural trading across the borders using the multi-MDA approach to make agricultural inputs and outputs more cost-effective and standardised,” he asserted.
Abubakar stressed that the mechanisation of the agricultural sector would revolutionalize and fast-track development in the sector geared towards achieving food sufficiency, creating more jobs and generating revenue for farmers.
Earlier, Ngesu stated that the delegation came on a fact-finding visit and to understudy the ongoing reforms, policies undertaken by the Federal Government to move the agric sector forward.
In his remarks, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the director, federal department of agriculture, Mrs Karima Babaginda, pointed out that Nigeria and Kenya share many things in common.
According to him, apart from military collaboration, we are also both agrarian societies, and agriculture is the future of Africa. To have our military officers interested and enthusiastic in the sector portends that Africa will be great, as all hands must be on deck towards making the continent free of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
A statement by the ministry’s director of information, signed by Mohammed Gana, said the director, planning and policy coordination in the ministry, Alhaji Zubairu Abdullahi, in his presentation – Nigeria’s agriculture policies and agro-based industry – said agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the Nigerian economy. “It has contributed immensely in the growth of the gross domestic products (GDP) in a consistent manner with high potentials for the growth of the economy in terms of food security, job creation, foreign exchange earnings and economic diversification,” he added.