The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has called on the Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineering (PASAE) and the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE) to work with the ministry’s on its goal of growing the country’s agricultural sector.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, made the call on Thursday during a courtesy visit of the professional bodies to the ministry’s office in Abuja.
Delegates and Conference Organizing Committee (COC) members of the PASAE-NIAE 2020 International Conference had visited the minister to brief him on the upcoming joint conference.
The delegation was led by the Chairman of the COC, Prof. Michael Faborode, former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University.
Nanono while addressing the delegation hailed the conference for its timeliness.
The minister highlighted the focus on his administration on agro-productivity, agro-industrialisation, and job creation.
He subsequently called on the bodies to collaborate with the ministry to make the new initiatives successful.
Nanono further disclosed that under his administration’s private sector-led mechanisation drive not less than 10,000 tractors will be acquired to support farming input centers.
This, he said, would be spread across the country’s 732 local government areas and 138 agro-processing centers.
He added that his administration was working towards ensuring the provision of viable seeds and cultivars which would require research support
He also said there was plan to ensure effective extension services were provided to farmers.
The delegation disclosed that while Rwanda President Paul Kagame will chair the opening ceremony of the conference, African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina will give the conference’s keynote address.
The international conference is expected to hold on 22nd September this year.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Prof. Faborode said the conference would focus on agro-industrialisation of African agriculture and the African Agenda 2063.
The don further commended the Minister for his vision and assured that launching an NIAE Agricultural Engineering Transformation Roadmap will be one of the highlights of the conference.
The delegates pledged their readiness to support the laudable initiatives of the ministry to boost farmers’ productivity and bring the youths back into farming.