The Federal Government has restated that agriculture is the most important driver of its economic diversification agenda and must be strengthened to achieve its set goal.
Specifically, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the SEEDCONNECT AFRICA 2021 Conference and Exhibition in Abuja on Monday, said seed is the starting point of any agricultural revolution and a panacea for food and nutritional security in Nigeria.
Themed ‘Strengthening resilience through Partnership for a Robust Seed System in Nigeria’, the conference was organised by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC).
According to Abubakar, his Ministry is implementing various agricultural policies formulated since 2015 by promoting research applications, reviving extension services and easing input access, among others.
Speaking on the importance of seed to agricultural development, the minister said food security is hinged on seed security, while seed security is hinged on rock-solid seed systems.
“The importance of seed in achieving a sustainable Agricultural revolution is sacrosanct. The growth of this sector would be hampered without a properly structured seed system to support the industry. Over time, we have agreed that seed is the starting point of any Agricultural revolution and a panacea for food and nutritional security.
“You will agree with me that food security is hinged on seed security, and seed security is hinged on rock-solid seed systems. That is why we are building on past policies that rode on seed systems to achieve an incredible impact on agricultural development in Nigeria.
“To fast-track development of Agricultural value chains, improve the efficiency of the delivery of seeds and other agric inputs, and enhance productivity.”
Furthermore, the minister said according to recent statistics, the agricultural sector is the highest contributor to the nation’s economy, contributing 29.9per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Agriculture in Nigeria is the most important driver to full diversification of our economy, and it must be strengthened.
“The SeedConnect Africa 2021, this is another gathering of stakeholders in the seeds and agriculture sectors from around the world, with the sole aim of strengthening a major system on which our survival as humanity relies, while charting a new course for far-reaching transformation in Nigerian and African agri-food system.
“We have launched the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro Pocket, NAGS&AP, implementation and technical working committee.
“Their mandate is to see to the smooth implementation of input delivery and growth enhancement initiative, for the benefit of farmers across Nigeria. The seed component will be closely monitored,” he added.
On his part, the Director-General, NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, in his welcome address said the 4th edition of SEEDCONNECT AFRICA CONFERENCE and Expo 2021 has become one of the biggest gatherings of Seed industry stakeholders in Africa.
According to him, over the years, Nigeria’s seed system has benefited immensely from this laudable initiative.
However, Ojo called for the collaboration of stakeholders in the seed subsector to create a sustainable and robust seed system in Nigeria.
The post SEEDCONNECT AFRICA: Nigerian Govt Restates Commitment to Strengthening Agriculture first appeared on AgroNigeria.
The post SEEDCONNECT AFRICA: Nigerian Govt Restates Commitment to Strengthening Agriculture appeared first on AgroNigeria.