Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has thanked the immediate past Minister of Agriculture, 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, on Friday also promised to deepen and widen the sector, saying the level of poverty in the rural villages is unacceptable.
He prayed for the support of the African Development 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 rearers, as well improve wheat and milk production.
Also, the minister has restated the need to bring in younger crop of people into agriculture to make the sector viable.
He made this known when he received the Australian High Commissioner in Nigeria, H.E Jonathan Richardson, in the ministry on Friday.
The Minister, who recognized Australia as one of the biggest players in livestock and animal production, sought for more areas of co-operation between Nigeria and the country. 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, so as to improve the mental health of Nigerian children. He said Nigeria would improve wheat production capacity to reduce importation and assured the High Commissioner of Nigeria’s readiness to co-operate with Australia.
The Australian High Commissioner, H.E Jonathan Richardson, said Australia had offered post-graduate scholarships in the past to Nigerian students in specialized areas of agriculture like Post-Harvest management, saying over 44 persons had benefitted.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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