Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has thanked the immediate past Minister of Agriculture, now President of the African Development Bank, AFDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for laying a very solid foundation in the agricultural sector.
The Minister disclosed this when he received a delegation of the African Development Bank AfDB led by the institution’s Vice President in charge of Agriculture and Water, Mr. Aly Abou-Saba and promised to deepen and widen the sector, saying the level of poverty in the rural villages is unacceptable.
Ogbeh said the government would take steps to avoid any bleak future through better nutrition for the children saying 27 per cent of Nigerian children are malnourished. He emphasized the need to mechanise agriculture to be attractive to the youths and to improve seed quality.
He, however, solicited the support of the bank in its expansion programme and equally urged them to bring in interventions in critical sectors of Agriculture. He said Nigeria needs AFDB support to curb desertification and increase grazing pasture to reduce clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen, as well improve wheat and milk production.
The minister restated the need to bring in younger crop of people into agriculture to make the sector viable.
Speaking on his desire to make agriculture more attractive to the youths, Ogbeh said, “A large population of the youth in agriculture is an asset to production.”
He identified the training of young people in agriculture, the need to engage students in more practical agriculture and involvement of agricultural institutes in more research and production as a better way of repositioning the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
Ogbeh, expressed the need to improve cattle breeding and milk production in Nigeria, to improve the mental health of Nigerian children. He said Nigeria would improve wheat production capacity to reduce importation.


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