The Nasarawa State government has donated 50 hectares of land to the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to host its Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) for the north-central zone.
This move by the state government is to complement President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to launch six additional agricultural development institutes across the federation to steer the agricultural sector in the direction of mechanisation and technology innovations toward overall economic development of the country.
This donation was announced by the Nasarawa State governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, today in Lafia, saying the hectares of land in two different locations within the Lafia town, the state capital, would house the agency’s agricultural institute.
He said the establishment of the institute in Lafia would not only fasttrack socio-economic development of the state but would bequeath on the state new skills development and facilities in the areas of agriculture, local and international standards machines and equipment fabrication, technology-based agricultural jobs, wealth and agric-based chains of businesses, including agricultural value-chains and many more economic advantages
According to the governor, it is usually heart-rending seeing farmers, men and women in the state continue to use old farm implements for planting, cropping, harvesting, processing and storage of farm produce without the upgrade of such tools over the years. He said the archaic system had continued to result in great loss of farm produce at every stage of their work thereby making the people poorer.
But with AMEDI, the governor said NASENI had brought high hopes to the people because technology and new and modern agricultural equipment to be fabricated at the new institute would have positive consequences on agriculture and its practices in the state.
Sule said the citing of AMEDI in the state was most appropriate because of the rich agricultural endowments of Nasarawa which he added currently hosts most of the big private and commercial agricultural farms in northern Nigeria.
The NASENI boss, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to Governor Sule as well as his unflinching support for the agency.
He made reference to the governor’s support and endorsement of NASENI’s quest for endorsement of its one per cent federal allocation by the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
At the meeting of the NEC, Haruna disclosed said Sule was amongst the state governors who stood stoutly behind NASENI to see that NEC approved the one per cent allocation.
Haruna also announced that with the tremendous responses now from Nasarawa State government, especially, the donation of two locations of land to site the institute, nothing else would hold down AMEDI from taking off in Nasarawa State.
A statement by the agency’s deputy director, information, Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, said President Buhari recently approved six of such agricultural development institute, one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country, adding the north central was approved to be located in Lafia, Nasarawa State.