ABU professor urges FG to operate agriculture as business venture
A plant breeder and leader, of the Biotechnology research programme, Institute of Agricultural Research at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Mohammed Isiyaku Faguyi, has observed that agriculture should be seen as a business
that will engage more work force to yield money for the development of the country.
He noted that it should not be looked upon as government intervention likened to alms giving but should be something that would create wealth for the people of the country.
Expressing this to DAILY POST in Kaduna, he pointed out that Nigeria’s agricultural institutions have contributed immensely to the development of agriculture
in the country, stressing that they had generated technologies that, if appropriately deployed and supported, would be translated into huge agricultural production and improve food security.
He explained that government has recently been struggling with a number of problems such that the potentials of the research institutes have not been adequately harnessed by government.
‘‘These research institutes have enormous capacity if they can be channeled appropriately by government and supported adequately, l am sure they are going to take the agriculture of this country out of its wilderness.
‘‘Let’s cite Ahmadu Bello University with the needed funds and incentives, what can’t this institute do towards ensuring food security in the country? Even at this level of sub optimum support from government, this institute has developed more than fourteen varieties of Cotton, forty-six varieties of Maize and hybrids, about equal number of Sorghum varieties and about twenty-four of or twenty-five varieties of improved groundnuts with high productivity and agricultural machineries,” he stressed.
He maintained that if all the needed support is accorded agriculture, Nigeria would feed the whole of Africa and with agricultural products being the markets of some countries in Europe, the country has all it takes to provide beef to Europe.
According to him, oil-based products have the capacity to fill in the production deficits in various African countries requirements ranging from all manners of grains and other crops.