To make the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy attractive and also fast track the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Federal Government, the sector must be adequately funded. This was the mind of Deans of Agriculture in
Nigerian Universities at its 57th Annual General Meeting recently held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.
The Association in a communiqué released after the meeting said “government at all levels should enhance allocations for Agriculture and Agricultural training and increase the budgetary allocation to Agricultural sector from the present 1.7 per cent to at least 10 percent in line with Maputo Declaration in order to ensure food security, create jobs and wealth. Also, budgetary allocation to Agriculture and Agricultural Training should be released on time to ensure proper training of Agricultural personnel so as to fast track the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government”.
The Deans also called on the Ministry of Agriculture at all levels to facilitate the establishment of properly equipped research and training farms for agricultural training Institutions with a view to providing adequate entrepreneurial skills to Nigerian youths who are tired of agriculture of hoes and cutlasses as it is currently practiced in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the Association urged the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the bill
for the establishment of the Nigerian Institute for Agriculture (NIAg) to create the enabling environment for the private-public sector participation in Agriculture and agricultural training.
On training of students, the Association asked for a review of agriculture curriculum to reflect current realities of national and global transformation as this will prevent ambiguity and re-package agriculture for better delivery and higher efficiency.
Addressing the Deans during the meeting, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of
Technology, Akure, Professor Adebiyi Daramola urged them to be more concerned about the quality of training they give students studying agriculture so as to make them self-reliant and key into the transformation agenda in the sector.
The host of the meeting, who is also the Dean of School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor J. A. Alokan said the communiqué underscored the key position that agriculture would continue to play in the country’s quest for self-reliance and a vibrant economy.
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