By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The federal government is set to revive the School of Agriculture in Rivers state in order to put into good use the naturally endowed land and water resources as well as train the youths in the south-south region in agricultural production.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike on the sideline of the 42nd Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development held from 24-26th April,2017
Ogbeh said a lot of agricultural potentials are inherent in Rivers state which requires supports of governments for them to be fully developed, saying that the School of Agriculture in Rivers state would be revived in partnership with the state government. He said “we think that we should revive the School of Agriculture and provide the place for training. A lot of potentials are in Rivers state, if we do this, the state can be a huge source of fish in Nigeria”.
He said if youths in the state are brought into agriculture, it will create wealth and cut down the rate of rural- urban migration. “We are here to make Agriculture more interesting and dignified “he said.
The Minister stated the need for states to manage lands in their communities to grow and develop agriculture, saying “The land is of no use if it is not put into uses and urged the government to do whatever it can do to make land available for Agriculture”.
He opined that the issue of food security in the country must be placed above political sentiments, saying that the annual National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development is a forum where delegates take decisions on how to move the sector forward and that this year’s forum would provide another opportunity to take decisions, build on achievements and identify Agricultural potentials in Rivers state.
The Governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike said “Agriculture is a serious business and if Nigeria must go to the next level, everyone that wants Nigeria to grow will seek the support of every sector”.
The Governor said the state is presently working in conjunction with the Faculty of Agriculture in the Rivers state University to bring back the School of Agriculture and disclosed that some potential investors had indicated interests in reviving the rubber plantation in the state.
He expressed appreciation to the Minister for the commitment and zeal he has shown towards the development of Nigeria, saying, “You have shown commitment with age, I appreciate the way you work, you are really committed to the development of Nigeria”