Expert calls for commitment to transformation of agriculture sector
An Agriculturalist, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, on Friday advocated genuine commitment from stakeholders in the agriculture sector in order to achieve the desired transformation.
Bogoro made the assertion in a keynote address he delivered at the 4th Convocation of Landmark University in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
Bogoro is an Animal Scientist in the Department of Animal Production, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
He spoke on “Revolutionising Agriculture: A Catalyst for Up-Scaling Development and Transformation in Africa.’’
Bogoro said that in order to achieve a sustainable agricultural development regime, there was the need to boost agriculture budget at all three levels of government in line with global practices.
According to him, such commitment is needed as a catalyst for up-scaling development and transformation of agriculture in Nigeria and other African countries, especially in an era of recession.
“All stakeholders including universities, research institutes, centres of excellence, governments and development partners’ must show genuine commitment to revolutionising agriculture as the best alternative economy.
“There is need for matching the rhetoric on the importance of agriculture with a financial commitment to support it,” Bogoro said.
He said Nigeria had not come close to meeting the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) guidelines for African countries to spend at least 10 per cent of their budget on agriculture.
“This is despite the financial commitment to do so.
“Agriculture spending averaged just 4.6 per cent of overall federal spending between 2008 and 2014.
“Not surprising, the contribution of the agriculture sector to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined over the same period,” he said.
The Institution’s Chancellor, Bishop David Oyedepo, said that there was no justification for Nigeria to be importing food items going by its agriculture potential.
Oyedepo said it was high time government and the governed demonstrated to the world that the country could evolve solutions to the challenges of hunger, poverty and unemployment.
“We need to come back to the real issues confronting us; we need to start creating solutions to our problems.
“We must think for ways of putting theoretical agriculture into raw agricultural practices with the endowed abundant resources available.
“There is no basis for importing chicken from any part of the world for a country so blessed like Nigeria.
“Whether you have B.Sc in Engineering or B.Sc Computer Science or International Relations, you must eat to survive,” he said.