Varsity urged to adopt Technology, Innovation to boost Agricbusiness- FG
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development(FMARD),Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has tasked the higher Institutions in Nigeria to adopt technology and innovation, stating that without sustainable efforts to achieve a shift from subsistence agriculture into a viable agribusiness, the challenge of feeding the growing population and creating a vibrant economy and massive jobs would be a mirage.
Speaking during the 27th Convocation Ceremony of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State,on Tuesday, 28th January,2020, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono noted that the main Agricultural policy thrust of the present administration is the attainment of sustainable food security and modernization of the Agric sector through Technology adoption and innovation.
Nanono said, ” all over the world, the scientific transformation of agriculture is a challenging task that requires a holistic, integrate and systematic approach that weighs the traditional nature of the sector against burning desire to modernize the sector in all its ramifications “.
The Minister stressed that agricultural universities should provide and nurture the intellectual basis for addressing the inherent problem of traditional agriculture through knowledge creation, training and knowledge and transfer of knowledge.
Alhaji Sabo Nanono stated that knowledge transfer would empower and transform farmers in crops production, livestock and fisheries subsector as well as achieve food security, generate income and improve livelihood in the Nigeria.
He informed that ” the Ministry will work with the Universities and other research and training institutions under its purview to be more organized and focus on Agricultural Development as clearly stated in their mandates”
He further stated that “the need for closer monitoring and coordination in line with government policies on the Agricultural sector informed the decision of the present administration to approve the return of the universities of Agriculture to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development “.
The Minister pledged that ” Government will continue to do its best within limited resources adding that the ministry has approached the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for funding support in the areas of applied research and possibly infrastructural development for the universities under its purview.
In his convocation address, the Vice- Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Prof. Felix Salako informed that “three thousand two hundred and twenty- six in population, have been found worthy to be awarded first degrees in various disciplines,112 Students in the first class category, I congratulate you all on behalf of the council, principal officers, Senate, staff and other Stakeholders “.
In his remarks, the president of African Development Bank Group, who was also awarded with Honorary degree, Doctor of science,Dr. Akinwumi Adesina noted that “we must develop well integrated agricultural Value chain to make Nigeria more competitive in the food and Agriculture industry. That’s why the African Development Bank will be supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria in the development of Special agroindustrial processing zones in Nigeria “.
Prof Adesina explained that “these will be enabled with consolidated infrastructure. They will allow the establishment of food and agribusinesses in rural areas, close to zones of production, creating jobs and transforming the rural economies with wealth”.
He pointed out that “Universities of agriculture such as the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, have great roles to play in linking research, innovations and technologies to farmers and the food and agriculture industry”.
He also informed that ” the African Development Bank is spearheading efforts to Feed Africa and is investing $25 billion over a ten year period to transform the continents agriculture”.
For: Director, Information (FMARD)