The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has indicated that the Federal government of Nigeria is working on plans to mechanise agriculture in order to make it more attractive to Nigerian youths.
Dr. Onu said this in Abuja when he received Promise Amahah, Director General and National Coordinator of Nigerian Young Farmers Network in his office.
The Minister said considering the population of youths in the country, their involvement in agriculture would guarantee food security, job creation and increase foreign exchange earnings for the country.
He emphasised that the present administration placed high premium on agriculture, as demonstrated by the massive attention given to rice production by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Minister, the deployment of science, technology and innovation is crucial to the development of agriculture in Nigeria.
“Many aspects of farming are dependent on Science and Technology: from selection of seeds that are high yielding to drought and pest resistant seeds,’’ he said.
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The Minister, however, regretted the misfortune of post-harvest losses in the country’s agricultural sector.
He assured that his ministry will support the sector by deploying relevant technologies to ensure significant reduction in post-harvest losses to attain food security.
He said agricultural produce were essential to the development of pharmaceuticals, adding that products like cassava provide starch which was a major ingredient for the production of medicinal drugs.
Onu advised the group to continue to work as a team to achieve its objectives.
Earlier, Amahah told his host that the visit was aimed at seeking a working relationship with the ministry in order to positively reposition agriculture in the country.
He said the network was a melting pot for key stakeholders and investors in the agricultural sector.
He added that the group was striving towards developing a reliable and dependable data platform for agriculture in the country.
According to him, the network which has over two million members spread across the country and focused on driving and accelerating agricultural development in Nigeria