• Monday, March 04, 2024
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US experts to train Nigerian farmers next season- Adesina

Tobacco Farmers

The United States of America will assist as well as train Nigerian farmers in the next agricultural planting season.

This is part of the dividends being recorded after President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to the US, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman said.

Already, the 2015 planting has been completed and Nigerian farmers will await the tutelage of US professional farmers to improve on the already thriving sector.

He warned that the dividend from the four-day working visit might not be immediately visible as most were long term, however, the short terms ones were already pouring in and others will keep coming progressively.

“It is not like going to the market and coming back and saying how much did you sell? There are long-term things. When we came back we talked about the things that are immediate, the low hanging fruits that we could have and the ones that could take time,” he said.

During the National Peace Committee meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja last week, the President “talked about America coming to assist us in farming next season, it is late for this year but by next year they are going to send some experts who will help Nigerian farmers.

“So, things like that will keep coming. It is not something that you will just put in a basket immediately. The yield will come in progressively,” according to Adesina.

He said the agenda of security, assistance in terms of armament, instructions and intelligence, “will keep dropping; it is not as if it will be gotten in one fell swoop.”

The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had from 2011 focused on the agricultural sector as one of its mainstay, in the quest to boost food production and ensure self-sufficiency in agricultural practices in the country. This yielded a 70 percent growth in food production.

The production of rice and cassava received more attention as even the output of Nigerian rice farmers was over 2.8 million metric tons of rice paddy. This had also culminated in the introduction of a dry season farming.

Buhari’s government has now listed agriculture as one of its main source to boost the economy in the midst of dwindling oil prices. Oil prices have continued to fall between an all time high of $68 to $50 per barrel.

Only recently Buhari had, while receiving the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo Nwanze, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the time had come for Nigerians to do more than pay mere lip service to agriculture, as crude oil and gas exports would no longer be sufficient as the country’s major revenue earner.

“It’s time to go back to the land. We must face the reality that the petroleum we had depended on for so long will no longer suffice. We campaigned heavily on agriculture, and we are ready to assist as many as want to go into agricultural ventures,” the president had said.