Mohammed Kuta, a Professor of Agriculture Extension and Development Communication, has advised governors in the northern states to develop a regional agricultural policy to tap the huge potentials in the sector and transform the region.
Kuta gave the advice during the annual memorial lecture of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation on Monday in Kaduna.
He said that the governors must keep politics aside and unite in developing the region’s agriculture to tackle poverty and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the region.
”So that the unity of purpose Sir Ahmadu Bello had in agriculture will come back to play.
”He was committed, all inclusive and indeed patriotic in every ramifications; so we should create this kind of agenda that will empower our people,” Kuta, of the Department of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, said.
He recalled the region’s contributions to Nigeria’s GDP through agriculture and said more investments should be encouraged in the sector through sound regional agricultural policy.
”We must appreciate where we are coming from as a nation and the contribution of the region in terms of agriculture.
“About 80 per cent of the landmark of NIgeria is in the north and the rivers irrigation facilities are all in northern NIgeria.
”The bulk of food produced in the country, majority of it comes from the north. Therefore Northern NIgeria holds the key in terms of contribution to food security of the nation.”
Kuta therefore said the region must go back to agriculture in terms of policy generation and implementation.
”We need to realize that the north is a major stakeholder and we must continue to advance the cause of the region in terms of our development aspirations.”
He also called for the mainstreaming of women into the region’s development processes.
“We must mainstream them in the agricultural drive in terms of policy, implementation, access to production input, land and capital; women must be given upper hand especially along agricultural value chain, ” Kuta stressed.
The professor commended the Federal Government for banning importation of rice into the country, saying it would enable local farmers to be more productive.
The Managing Director of the foundation, Abubakar Gambo said agriculture is one of various ways to achieve employment for the teaming youth in the region.
“Agriculture is one of the variable ways to economic recovery which gurantee empowerment to millions of people particularly the youth, engender better living standard and enhanced income to the people and ensure food security,” Gambo said.
According to him, with the rising population, it is imperative for the North to have an inclusive agricultural policy, Intergrated across modern methods to boost production and economic activities in the region.
Nigerian News Agency reports that the theme of the 2020 Sir Ahmadu Bello memorial lecture is ‘Intergrated agriculture food security and sustainable Economic Regeneration in northern NIgeria’.
Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed