The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar said that the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) 2022 – 2027 will boost agribusiness undertakings geared towards achieving food and nutrition security.
The minister made this known during the launch of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy at the weekend in Abuja.
Abubakar stated that NATIP was a response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of diversifying the nation’s economy from petroleum oil-based to an agriculture-driven national development strategy.
“The focus of the new NATIP 2022- 2027 was premised on the 10 thematic areas of stakeholders synergy and alignment, knowledge creation and transfer, rapid mechanisation, extension service delivery, livestock development, crop value chain strengthening, fisheries and aquaculture.’’
He added that the policy covers the cross-cutting areas of digital and climate-smart, agriculture promotion, rural infrastructure, export standardisation, data and information management, quality agricultural inputs access and women and youth in agriculture.
Speaking further, the minister revealed that the ministry has sustained various initiatives for the development of the agriculture sector; hence, the issue of embracing technology and innovation becomes inevitable for transforming the nation’s agricultural system which empowers small-holder farmers to adopt new technologies and best practices for enhanced production.”
He noted that the implementation strategy of the policy has outlined clear responsibilities and roles among the national, state and local government actors with clear indicators and timelines for robust and collective tracking of progress throughout the programme implementation.
The minister lauded the relevant stakeholders, development partners, non-governmental organisations, civil societies, financial institutions and researchers for their contributions to the development of a successful framework of the NATIP 2022- 2027.
Abubakar, therefore, urged stakeholders to key into the policy for its smooth implementation towards ensuring food and nutrition security in the country.
In his remarks, Hon. Minister of State, Agricultural and Rural Development, Hon. Mustafa Shehuri, represented by the permanent secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe stated that collaboration and robust partnership are critical to overcoming the effects of climate change, security challenges and disease outbreaks that continue to constrain the process of increase in production.
“The priority this administration accords to agriculture has continually stimulated the interest and engagement of state actors to align their programmes and projects for the smooth implementation of the policy document in the country,” he added.
The mission director for Nigeria, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Anne Patterson, represented by the deputy mission director, Sara Werth in her remarks, stated that the organisation would continue to provide financial and technical support to fast-track agricultural development in Nigeria.
In his goodwill message, acting country programme leader, Dr. Bedru Balana pointed out that the policy would ensure the implementation of new technology and innovation in the agricultural sector and also drive the diversification agenda of the Federal Government.
A statement by the ministry’s director of information and signed by Ezeaja Ikemefuna said the highlight of the event was the unveiling of the policy document by the minister, permanent secretary and other stakeholders.