The Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, has expressed concern over the scale of food insecurity in Nigeria and in the entire West and Central African regions despite abundant landmass and available labour in the region.
Bello, who spoke during the opening ceremony of the Second International Conference on Drylands, organised by the Centre for Dryland Agriculture in the university, regretted that investments in agriculture in these regions had been low when compared to investments in agriculture in other developing regions of the world.
Bello also lamented that changing climates, rising conflicts, insecurity and global financial crisis had impacted negatively on agriculture, resulting in rising poverty, unemployment and restiveness in many parts of the West and Central African regions.
He stated these issues needed to be addressed in a bid to reverse the fortunes of countries in these regions and realign them to the path of sustainable growth and development.
The Director, Centre for Dryland Agriculture at the university, Prof. Jibrin Mohammed Jibrin, explained that the International Conference on Dryland was one of the outreach activities of the Centre, which provides a platform for researchers and other stakeholders to showcase their research outputs, share experiences and form networks with peers working in the same areas of common interest.