Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the Chairman of the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) has expressed regret over the low turn out of states at the annual National Agricultural Show.
Adamu said this on Monday in Abuja at the stakeholders' meeting to kick off preparations for the 2012 show.
He noted that while he expcted more states to have embraced the event, only 13 states attended the 2011 edition of the show.
``We have been making efforts to ensure that we don’t only send letters but meet with the chief executives in particular.
``Those that are really serious about promoting agriculture have done more than we expected; to give agriculture priority attention in the country.''
He explained that the foundation had sent out invitations to all the 36 states in the federation and commended the Kano State government for engaging all its local governments in the activities of the show.
According to him, the objective of the stakeholders’ meeting is to deliberate on the roadmap for the show and also to improve on the lapses that had been noticed in previous shows.
Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State, said that the meeting would also give development partners the opportunity to make inputs in the foundation’s activities.
Also speaking, Dr Samuel Negedu, the National Coordinator of the foundation, while giving an overview of the 2011 show, observed that participation fell short of organisers' expectations.
``We had 141 people who registered as either groups or individuals but we expected more states to have attended.''
He said that the foundation was still facing challenges in the area of funding and infrastructural adequacies at the show ground.
In her remarks, Dr Baraka Sani, the Kano State Commissioner for Agriculture, urged the Federal Government to formulate policies that would give the show national recognition.
She advised the Federal Government to step-up prize money for the annual show, noting that it could arouse the interest of more state governments.
She also called on the organisers of the show to inculcate gender mainstreaming in some of their activities.
Sani noted that this would encourage more women to participate in the show, stressing that more women were involved in small-scale farming than men.
The 2012 edition of the show is billed for Oct. 12 to Oct. 16 at the show ground at Km 28, Abuja-Keffi Road, Tudun Wada, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state.