Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has received a prestigious honorary Doctor of Agriculture degree from the Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, in the United States,
The award was conferred on him during spring commencement ceremonies in the West Lafayette campus’ Elliott Hall of Music.
Adesina was one of the two awardees for Honorary Doctorate degree awards during the ceremony, the second being William “Bill” Dudley Jr., president and CEO of the Bechtel Group, who got Doctor of Engineering degree.
Both Adesina and Dudley are Purdue alumni.
While conferring the award on Adesina, the President of Purdue University, Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. paid glowing tributes to him for his exemplary performance as a minister, which earned him recognition as one of the honorees.
Earlier in the day, Adesina was honoured in the College of Agriculture, where he gave a lecture on lessons to learn from Nigerian agricultural transformation.
Dean of the college, Dr. Jay T. Akridge, commended the Minister for deploy his intellect into transforming agriculture under his watch as a minister and was glad that an alumnus of Purdue lived up to their expectation.
Adesina, in his presentation to the college, underscored the importance of inclusive growth in agriculture, which has taken a turn for the better under his watch as a minister.
In his presentation, Adesina listed his major achievements as the impact of fertiliser and other key input subsidies, reaching out to 2.5 million women farmers under the Growth Enhancement Support, GES scheme, the establishment of Nigerian Agricultural Payment initiative, the introduction of near field communication system for farmers’ data gathering, growth in the number of local private sector-based foundation seed companies and development of Staple Crop Processing Zones.
On his bid for the Africa Development Bank, AfDB presidency, Adesina outlined his cardinal programme on assumption of office, saying Africa needs energy, information and communication technology, ICT and urban and rural infrastructure.
He identified youth employment, venture capital development and private equity as key to Africa’s development. Adesina pointed out the importance of reviving the rural economy through agricultural transformation, explaining that regional integration is also important for the continent.
Adesina informed the university community that Africa must avoid aid dependency and that “overseas development assistance, ODA must be used to leverage domestic resources at scale.”
He expressed worries on how improperly managed foreign aid could be inimical to the survival of fragile states.
The Minister said climate change poses real problem for developing economies and needs to be discreetly managed.