Acting Governor of Kano State Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gavuna called on the Dryland Land Agriculture Center (CDA), the Baero Cano University (BUK) to work with relevant state ministries and departments to increase food sufficiency by expanding large-scale farming in the state.
Dr. Gavuna, who is also Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 3th The International Conference on Dry Lands, organized by the CDA in collaboration with the International Research Institute for Agricultural Crops for the Semi-arid Tropics and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, said that the transition to agriculture from subsistence to large-scale commercial enterprises should be seriously attributed to this time the country's history.
However, he noted that the subject of the Conference, "Resource constraints, conflicts and climate change in drylands: options for the implementation of EMG", remains relevant given the persistent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers, which poses a serious threat to the development of agriculture in some parts of the country.
Describing Kano as one of the country's cornerstones, Dr. Gauna recalled the once raging pyramid of peanuts in an ancient commercial city, but regretted that the arrival of the oil boom almost killed agriculture, which was once the basis of the national economy.
He said the state government has committed not only to regaining lost fame for agriculture, but also to partner with centers such as the CDA and other development partners in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development of the United Nations (SDG).
Also during the event, Vice-Chancellor of the BUC, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello, noted that the theme of the conference "largely extended the themes of the two previous conferences on drylands held in 2014 and 2016.
"I am particularly pleased that the theme for the 2018 conference is different in that it challenges the speakers and rapporteurs of finding solutions or gives an idea of the understanding of the serious problems associated with climate change, the struggle for natural resources and conflicts in the arid regions."
The Vice-Chancellor added that "I have no doubt that universities play an important role in helping governments and other stakeholders in implementing the noble objectives of the EMG by sharing their knowledge and experience."
In his welcoming address, CDA Director Professor Jibrin M. Jibrin condemned what he described as a serious shortage of skilled personnel in sub-Saharan Africa, saying that he continues to slow the development of agricultural technologies in the region.
He said the biennial international conference on drylands is one of the CDA programs that provides a platform for disseminating research results, networking and sharing experiences between scientists, practitioners and other stakeholders.
He said that the topic of the Conference was timely, because "the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDAs) in the drylands requires concerted efforts to address climate change, high population pressures and unsustainable land-use practices. These are the highlighted problems that lead to further land degradation, low agricultural productivity, food and nutrition shortages, severe poverty, conflicts and civil unrest. "
Speakers at the conference included Dr. Peter Kraufurd, Head of the Strategic Studies Group on Sustainable Intensification in Africa at the International Corn and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT); Bernard Vanlauwe, ITA, Kenya; Mr. Safeyan Koroma, FAO Representative in Nigeria; Raffaello Cervini, a leading environmental economist, with the World Bank's Global Environment and Natural Resources Practice.