As part of the agender for the 45th edition of the National Council on Agriculture & Rural Development, stakeholders have converged in Jos the Plateau state capital to brainstorm to strengthen agricultural value chains for economic development.
The event kicked off on Tuesday 13 September, with the theme Strengthening the agricultural value chain development process for food security and economic development.
The Ministry urged the participants drawn from States across the nation to deliberate with a broad mind, add value to all the issues raised for the overall impact of the agricultural sector on the economy, and proffer concrete and practical suggestions that will assist the Council in reaching meaningful decisions.
The permanent secretary, of the federal ministry of agricultural and rural development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe who declared the technical session open, said that the focus of the session is on fine-tuning, developing, and improving the commodity value chain development process.
Umakhihe, who was represented by the director, of agricultural land and climate change management services, Shehu Bello said the value chain approach to developing agriculture was intensified during the Agricultural Transformation (ATA) 2011-2015.
“The present administration has sustained and enhanced it via the successive frameworks of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016 – 20220 and the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) 2022-2027.
“The ministry through the launch of NATIP has demonstrated commitment of the sector to address all conceivable challenges besetting the sector with a focus on strengthening and developing the agricultural value chain.”
He added that the foundation to achieving the desired success is the commitment to the provision of incentives to increase the output and quality of agricultural commodities to meet and surpass national requirements and ultimately achieve a diversified economic base with Agriculture leading the way for the non-oil sectors of the economy.
Earlier, the Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Hosea Finangwai asked that the memos on the request for the upgrade of the Potato Station in Kuru, be given priority on its merit, lamenting that, “As a State that accounts for over 90% of the production of this important crop, the livelihood and income of our farmers were this year again threatened by the monstrous potato blight.”
However, the Ministry’s Director, Planning and Policy Coordination, Ibrahim Bello noted that “the platform provides us with the opportunity to share experiences and good practices on value chain development in the agricultural sector, as it affects food security and economic development for adoption and replication by all stakeholders in the sector along our various ecological peculiarities. It is, therefore, expected that we all continue to provide enabling environment for value chain development across our respective States to engender food security in the country.”