BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Food security: Buhari to raise agricultural production

President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration was committed to the development of agriculture to raise agriculture production and its value chain, to ensure food sufficiency in country and exportation of agricultural products.

The president also said by the end of his administration, he would leave Nigeria more united, prosperous and secure than he met it.

Buhari was speaking through his chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari, during a working visit to inspect the level of work at Agriculture Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) on Sunday in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

The president said that enormous steps had been taken to realise increase in agriculture production as one of the key priorities of his administration to transform the sector from subsistence to a very sophisticated machine driven.

This, he said, would bring about food sufficiency and food security in the country, and also provide for exportation of agricultural products.

He commended the leadership of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) for the commitment and progress made on the project.

” President has asked me to come here to inspect and see the tremendous physical development that is taking place in NASENI, particularly one of the six Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes.

“President Buhari regards agriculture as something very close to his heart because he believes that the time has come where we must produce what to eat and to eat what we produced and to ensure food sufficiency and food security,

“He is very proud to be associated with this state, he is very proud of the significant development that has taken place in this state, God willing by the time of the end of his administration, he will leave Nigeria more united, prosperous and secured than he found it,” he said.

Earlier, Mohammed Haruna, executive vice chairman of NASENI, said the institute was one of the six approved by the president in 2021, one per political zone to guaranty food security and apply modern tools and equipment for mechanised agriculture.

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He added that the establishment of the institute would guarantee technology for food processing, food preservation and application of food availability and artificial intelligence for efficient and multi-crop seasons.

Haruna said NASENI was collaborating with partners from Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan, the Czech Republic and Italy to equip the institute and five others in the country, with state-of-the-earth research and manufacturing facilities, targeting the best and the highest technology in the world.

“Science, technology and innovation has always been the source of development and prosperity of all nations.

“The yardstick of measuring the willingness and readiness of Nigeria to transit from a community-based economy to a manufacturing economy is the degree to which NASENI’s role is applied to all aspects of our socio-economic endeavour,” he said.

Haruna expressed gratitude to President Buhari, Governor Abdullahi and Emir of Lafia, Sidi Bage, for their generosity, guidance and support, leading to the success achieved in the construction of the Institute.

“You will recall that foundation laying ceremony was performed in August, despite the volume of rain in September and October, we have been able to fence the 20 hectares of land, constructed gatehouse, roads, the administrative block and the two workshops are about 90 per cent completion.

“God willing, it will be ready for commissioning between January and February 2023; with this development all that is needed for modern farming in food processing, packing and preservation are to be locally produced by NASENI.

“NASENI is among the best legacy that President Muhammadu Buhari will bequeath to the next and subsequent administration in Nigeria,” he said.