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[Plateau]–Food importation to drastically reduce as federal government approved the sum of N750billion Agricultural Intervention Fund to boost the agricultural sector and diversify the economy.
This was revealed by Acting President, Yemi Oshibanjo, in Kuru-Jos, Plateau State, during the inauguration of Senior Executive Course (SEC) 39 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (NIPSS), with the theme “Science and Technology and Innovation(STI) for the Development of Agriculture and Agro-allied Industries in Nigeria.
The acting president, who was represented by the Plateau State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden disclosed that Nigeria has over 84 hectares of arable land but only only 40 percent of is being cultivated.
He further revealed that, until recently the country has been spending over N1.3 billion annually on food importation to meet the shortfall in food production, adding that it was no longer tenable thus, the need to improve the agricultural sector.
He then promised that the present administration is committed to ensuring that the agriculture and Agro-allied industries are revamped through application of science, technology and innovation, adding it is clear starting point to economy diversification and unemployment reduction.
In his own statement, the acting Director General of NIPSS, Mr Jonathan Juma, said that the adoption of STI will bring about major the development in the agricultural sector in terms of seed selection and development, farm machinery, storage facilities, genetically produced plants, animal feeds, animal breeding and transportation. He added that in the long run the country will be a food giant, meeting its domestic needs and possibly exporting to neighbouring countries.
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