In line with the Federal Government’s effort geared towards ensuring food sufficiency in Nigeria, a sum of N750 billion has been approved as Agricultural Intervention Fund.
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who disclosed this at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) inauguration of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 39 held in Kuru, Plateau State, expressed that developing the agricultural sector is the pathway to economic resurgence.
“Developing the agricultural sector is a clear starting point of our quest for not only the diversification of our hitherto non cultural economy away from oil, it is also the only economy to grow fast enough to absorb the huge number of people that are unemployed” he said.
Represented by the Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof. Sonny Tyoden, Osinbajo noted that the country has over 84 hectares of arable land yet only 40 per cent was cultivated.
He stressed that with over 180 million population, the Nigerian local market is big enough to support optimum agricultural production while providing sustainable livelihood for the citizens.
Meanwhile, the acting Director General of the institute, Jonathan Juma said the theme of SEC 39 “Science, Technology and Innovation for the Development of Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industries in Nigeria” was vital considering the fear being contemplated about possible food shortage in the country, as well as inadequate supply of agricultural raw materials to feed the nascent agro-allied industries in the country.
According to Tyodem, “ human population is increasing exponentially, while climate change with attendant implication for agricultural production is steering us in the face, the option to put in place vibrant and robust science, technology innovation policy is imperative”.