The implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to introduce modern techniques in all agricultural practices nationwide kicked off Monday in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state capital for the North-West Zone.
One hundred youth from the six geo-political zone of the country each are to benefit from the technical interventions and empowerment programme by the Agency.
President Buhari recently directed the Executive Vice Chairman/CE of NASENI, Engr. Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, to empower one hundred youth in the 36 states of the federation, deploying some of the technologies on the shelves of the Agency while focusing specifically in the areas of modern farming, agricultural processing, production and preservation.
A press statement issued by NASENI Deputy Director, Information, Mr.Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, quoted Prof Haruna as saying the flag off ceremony was in response to the very clear directive by the President whom he disclosed was keen on economic diversification of the country in the direction of agriculture, noting that the “exercise was a mission accomplished and a sign of the seriousness of the administration to empower the youths and also to lift Nigeria’s agriculture away from mere subsistence.”
Prof Haruna said all the developed countries of the world began with agriculture and later became great because they introduced modern techniques, science and innovations into the practice in their journey to industrialisation.
Chairman of the occasion, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to tackle the high rate of youth unemployment, poverty, and especially food insecurity and also the industrial transformation of the country.
He said the target of one hundred youth per geo-political zone of the country was essentially to take the youth off the streets, address youth restiveness and increase food security and the introduction of modern farming practices in form of quick adaptation of modern technology in order to make agriculture very attractive to young people.
He said the Northwest geo-political zone of the country is known for farming as a general occupation and therefore the choice of introduction of modern farming in this particular training for the youths in the North-West geo-political zone.
Governor of Kebbi state, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu at the occasion said his state was most lucky to host this flag off programme by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. “Being the host state for on-going rice revolution in the country, this programme was a clear evidence of the desire to transform the country through the use of Science, technology and Innovation,” he said.
While commending NASENI, he said the current support for local research and technical institutions like NASENI by the Kebbi state and the federal government was deliberate.