‘North Needs Agriculture To Survive’

By Andrew Agbese & Maryam Ahmadu-Suka

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“North Agriculture” Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have emphasized the need for sustained interest in agriculture for states in the northern part of Nigeria to survive.

The Stakeholders met in Kaduna for a Validation Workshop on Capacity Gaps for Implementing Holistic Empowerment for Livelihood Program (HELP.) aimed at promoting south- south collaboration on capacity development for agricultural research for development.

Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, who spoke at the workshop, said knowing ‎fully well that years to come, the oil which Nigerian is dependent on will soon finish, hence there’s a need for states in the north to work hard on competitiveness and develop ‎businesses through agriculture. (North Agriculture)

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He said Jigawa State was already doing that and would soon start the exportation of goats to Kuwait and other Arab countries because the state’s goats multiplication farming programme has started yielding results.

He said the state government distributed over 600 goats to 220 women in 2016.

“‎This is our passion, this is what keeps us to see agriculture as our future. That is why we are so determined and serious about it ‎to become competitive in the area of agriculture. So our being here or wherever you find us discussing agriculture, it’s a duty that we believe we must do,’’ he said.

Executive Director of the Forum of Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr. Yemi Akinbamiju, said despite agriculture’s contribution, commensurate economic impacts are extremely low as challenges confronting the sector are many. (North Agriculture)

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“With high population growth rate (estimated about 2.6%), a key challenge is how to produce enough quality and quantity of food to feed African’s growing population.

“This is compounded by high number of small holder farmers, who operate inefficiently due to lack of training opportunities, innovation and favourable social, economic and regulatory conditions,” he said.