Stakeholders in the agricultural sector are calling for a professional to be appointed as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development who will help to transform the sector and ensure food security.
Hajia Halima Njobdi, the Women Leader, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari should appoint a professional that would reposition the sector for better results.
“Even though choosing a minister can be a very difficult task but the government should consider a replica of the former minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina to man the ministry.
“A vibrant person who understands agriculture that is willing to encourage the youths and build all the components of agriculture as a revenue generation drive to move the nation away from oil,’’ she said.
Njobdi said this had become imperative to avoid the errors of the past, stressing that there were many young and professional Nigerians that would reposition the sector to meet any emerging challenges.
“Agriculture is all about vibrancy, understanding of the available potential, turning things around, having adequate data and international exposure,’’ she said.
She said that the minister should be the type that would do away with civil service bureaucracy and turn the ministry around for total development.
Mallam Alikali Idrisu, a farmer said to achieve the next level on agriculture, especially on food security and achieving zero hunger, a technological advanced person must be appointed to drive the seat.
According him, this will help to develop agriculture to the next level and record more dividend of democracy for the betterment of the citizens.
Idrisu stressed that Nigeria had enough agricultural experts both home and abroad knowledgeable enough to turn things around in the sector and make Nigeria to become agricultural hob in the continent.
Mallam Audu Bagude, another farmer expressed optimism that with the right man on the driver’s seat at the ministry, things would change for the better.
He said that a lot needed to be done for the country to develop the sector to engage the youths and reduce unemployment and to tackle poverty, among other challenges.
“Agricultural sector is robust fastest growing and significant sector in Nigeria’s economy, therefore, it cannot relegate agriculture to the background with the wrong choice of a minister.
“We need a minister that will encourage more foreign investors into the agro-processing industries, ensure food security, create more jobs and assist greatly in shaping the agricultural policy,” he said.
He said that there was an urgent need to transform the money-spinning sector and this could only be achieved through a minister that could develop and transform the sector and to serve as a catalyst to boost the nation’s economy.
Bagude called all stakeholders to speak with one voice for the government to choose a competent minister to fast track development and sustainability. (NAN)