The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Chief Audu Ogbeh has assured the youths of the country that they embracing agriculture will be the foundation and break through the nation has been waiting for to take the leadership position as the Giant of Africa.
Ogbeh said that when youths take to agriculture, that will be the foundation stone that will set the country free from poverty and thereby create and grow wealth that is sustainable, more so they will legitimately be rich and be happy.
The Minister said this while commissioning the Agriculture Transformation Agenda Support Program, ATASP-1, Youth Training Center and the Flag -off of National Agribusiness Youth Training on Seed Production and Processing Technology in Kubwa-Abuja.
Audu Ogbeh encouraged youths to take up agribusiness which is one of the legal means of getting wealth. Seed processing is strategic to agriculture, hence the setting up of this training center. The Minister expressed his deep appreciation hearing youths who gave glowing testimonies of how much they have gained recently when they ventured into agribusiness, the Minister told them he was delightfully pound of them and will support them in whatever way possible.
Earlier, the National Program Coordinator, Akwashiki Haruna Kuje, informed guest that the availability of improved seeds/ planting materials at the right time and quantity is crucial to enhancing agricultural production and productivity for food security and poverty alleviation in Nigeria. The use of quality seeds has contributed immensely to the success of ‘Green Revolution’ World -over. Improved seeds offers not only one of the cheapest and basic potential means of increasing production per unit area, but it is also one of the critical determinants of benefits derivable from agro-inputs such as fertilizer, insecticide, herbicide, etc. thus all over the world, the use of improved seeds has been the most cost-effective means of achieving self- sufficiency in crop production.
However, one of the major challenges facing farmers in ATASP-1 intervention area is the shortage of quality seeds. Consequently, ATASP-1 in collaboration with the outreach Programmed is organizing a training for 200 selected youths on seed production technology, the training will hold in three (3) venues viz: Kubwa, FCT for Cassava, NCRI Badeggi for Rice and IAR, Zaria for Sorghum. the selected youths will produce seeds for farmers in their various communities after the training.
The Minister also noted with appreciation the huge contribution and support from our own, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the current President of Africa Development Bank alongside the Director General of International Institute for Tropical Agriculture ( IITA ) Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, they both gave their words and assurances to continually fund the program. In the same vein the outreach program coordinator, of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program, Dr. Gbassey Tarawali, said IITA is the major agricultural research organization in Africa and that it is working with international and national partners to improve livelihoods enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment and also the preservation of our natural resource integrity. Tarawali also said that the Abuja station is currently serving as a Strategic Hub in Africa for showcasing agricultural technologies to Donors, Embassies, Development Partners and Government Agencies.
Lere-Adams, A.B. ( Mrs).
Deputy Director – Information.
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