Agric Productivity Key to Socio-economic Transformation – Nanono

The Federal Government has said that improvement in agricultural productivity will take millions of Nigerians out of food insecurity and low-income status to a food-secure and improved standard of living.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, made this known during the launch/unveiling of Sampea-20T cowpea seed to farmers at Bristol Palace Hotel in Kano on Tuesday.

Nanono emphasised that an increase in agricultural productivity remains the key determinant of socio-economic transformation and livelihood improvement in Nigeria.

The minister further described agriculture as the singular most important sector that can transform Nigeria’s economy to meet the growing demands for food, nutrition, industry and jobs.

Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing countries in the World with a population of over 200 million and projected to reach 450 million in the year 2050.

Nanono, however, noted that there was need for a balance between agricultural productivity and the population growth rates to avoid civil unrest caused by food insecurity and poverty.

The minister, represented by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, also expressed happiness over the interest of wide stakeholders in the agriculture sector and for the development and release of Pod Borer Resistant variety of cowpea (Sampea 20T).

“Your presence here today, and your commitment to this project is a testament to the vision you share for Nigeria that ‘grows more food and grows better food,” he added.

Nanono said the release of Sampea 20T was a result of the outstanding 10 years of collaborative research efforts of addressing the persistent insect pest damage to cowpea estimated to have caused 20-80 percent yield losses.

The development of a resistant variety, the minister maintained will sustainably help address the problem.

He said, “I have been reliably informed that during the 2020 cropping season, on-farm demonstration trials of SAMPEA 20-T were conducted in 28 sites across Adamawa, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Plateau states

“Farmers who participated in the trials confirmed the agronomic superiority of Sampea-20T and the high yield performance of this variety resulted in high demand for seeds by farmers”

The discovery, according to Nanono, has perfectly keyed into the desire to promote quick or early maturing crops to cushion the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic by promoting large-scale stable food production.

He, therefore, called for quality assurance during seed multiplication from the breeder to certified seeds and well as the development of an effective marketing and distribution strategy to ensure the seeds reach every prospective farmer.


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