By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and Chairman Coordinating Committee, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, has said that the current policy direction of government towards boosting the agriculture sector would require partnerships with international firms with knowledge of modern agriculture technology to help rural farmers acquire new skills.
The royal father, who was the chairman at the a two- day Nigerian Agri-Food Investment Forum, organized by “ Youths Off The Street” YOTSI, in Lagos, said concerted efforts should be made in the area of attracting foreign investors as the sector is showing greater signs of improvement.
He said, no doubt that president Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated genuine commitment in stimulating appetite of investors to move into the sector and through policy initiative the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has made various interventions to support farmers.
Etsu Nupe declared that the country has no excuse to fail as Nigeria is blessed with arable land, with committed people willing to galvanize and promote the sector. He therefore solicited Global partnerships which according to him would be facilitated through incentives to promote ideas that will turn around the sector.
Abubakar informed the gathering that government has demonstrated genuine desire to promote agriculture business through its diversification policy. “We have had various interventions in the past like Operation Feed The Nation, Green Revolution but I see commitment by President Muhammadu Buhari administration to move away from rhetorics because today we are witnessing a significant turn-around in the agriculture sector. We are also seeing deliberate interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria, supporting farmers and the private sector is keying into several programs initiated by government.
It is therefore a commendable move to draw Youths into this and adequately engage them in meaningful economic activities as this will in the long run produce results by curbing crimes and provide food security for the growing population” the royal father declared.
In his remarks John Bray the US Consular General in Nigeria, said his country is bringing private sector solutions to grow Nigeria’s agriculture business. Bray who was represented by Brent Omdahl, commercial counselor to the US Mission to Nigeria, said US is deeply engaging and galvanizing partnerships and that presently some companies from the US are involved in providing technology models to support small scale farmers to improve their yield.