The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security have initiated discussions to harness their technical expertise and resources for the enhancement of agro-allied industries, climate change mitigation, and smart solar irrigation to facilitate dry-season farming.
Yesterday, on November 6, 2023, a crucial meeting was held in Abuja, where the Minister of Agriculture & Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of State, Hon. Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi, and the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, came together to pave the way for a collaborative effort aimed at advancing the Renewed Hope Agenda championed by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration.
Speaking at the meeting, Senator Abubakar Kyari highlighted the role of the agricultural sector in achieving the government’s 8-Point Renewed Hope Agenda.
He expressed gratitude to Halilu and his team at NASENI for their commitment to promoting agriculture, a key component of the agenda. “I won’t be tired of saying that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given my Ministry the responsibility to carry out one of the important programs in the 8-point Renewed Hope agenda, which is food security and five others,” Senator Kyari emphasized.
During the meeting, he received a warm welcome not only from Senator Kyari and the Minister of State but also from all the directors in the Ministry. Halilu expressed NASENI’s readiness to collaborate with the Ministry to bolster agriculture and ensure food security through the adoption and transfer of technology.
Halilu stated, “NASENI’s technical workforce, technologies, and international partnerships are poised to work towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, food processing, and exports.”
He also revealed NASENI’s ongoing scheme to refurbish 50,000 broken tractors across the country as part of a presidential initiative to promote large-scale farming.
The collaboration between NASENI and the Ministry encompasses various initiatives such as crop traceability, a rice straw project, climate change mitigation through scientific and technological research, and the introduction of solar-powered water irrigation systems for enhanced farming yields, among other projects.
“We are embarking on development activities in agriculture from production to commercialization. The key thing is how we can add value to our farm produce or raw materials before they are consumed or exported out of our country. In a nutshell, this is why we are here,” Halilu emphasized.
He also disclosed that NASENI had secured about $6 billion in investments during an outing at the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum in China, with approximately 40% of the funds designated for agricultural projects.
The Minister of State, Hon. Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi, welcomed NASENI’s visit and hailed it as a progressive and patriotic step. He reinstated the urgency of fostering synergy and collaboration among government institutions rather than competition, underlining the shared priority of food security within the federal government.
As the collaboration between NASENI and the Ministry gains momentum, it is expected to play a pivotal role in advancing agricultural development, food security, and economic prosperity in Nigeria.
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