Ahmed advocates strong agric policy for Northern region
From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Monday, April 09,  2012

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has advocated a virile agricultural policy to drive the economy of the Northern region for proper development.

The governor who made the call when the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi paid him a courtesy call at the Government House in Ilorin said governments in the region must evolve new agricultural policies and financing that would not only serve the people of the region better, but the entire country.
Ahmed said the Kwara State five-year agricultural masterplan, which addresses youth unemployment, wealth creation; commercial farming, premised on shared prosperity would be showcased at the next meeting of the Northern States Governors’ Forum.

According to him, the state agricultural masterplan which had inputs from the Cornell University of New York, Kwara State University and the University of Ilorin would transform the state into the agricultural hub of the country.
He gave the assurance that the state government would create enabling environment to attract resources for the development of agriculture in the state since poor funding could hinder agricultural development.

Ahmed said the Shonga commercial farms project has emerged as a workable model that could be replicated in all the 16 local government councils of the state. He added: “We have enumerated farmers in the state, compartmentalized them into cooperative groups based on crops, locations and farm sizes.” In his remark, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi sought alliance with the Kwara State Government for the creation of agricultural revolution in the country.

Awoniyi said agriculture was crucial to the development of Nigeria and that the huge potentials of the country in the sector must be tapped. He commended the Kwara State government’s initiative for the transformation of agricultural practice in the country, which he said could be of advantage to Kogi State’s agricultural policy.

The deputy governor said Kogi State would soon launch a farm settlement scheme, which would create employment opportunities for the youths and enhance food sufficiency in the state. Awoniyi said his team was in the state to understudy the Shonga Commercial Farm project and other agricultural initiatives.

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