President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr Kanayo Nwanze has canvassed for training of farmers on agriculture technology.
He made this call during his recent working visit to IFAD-assisted Community-Based Natural Resource Management Programme (CBNRMP) in Asaba, Delta State, saying that training of Nigerian farmers on agro technology would avail them better chance to use fertiliser and water harvesting techniques in farming.
Nwanze lamented the role agriculture played in the history of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) which was put between 70 to 80 per cent before it nose-dived to abysmal less than 10 per cent and said that the discovery of crude oil resulted in the neglect of agriculture leading to the decline in the production of groundnut, cocoa, rice and many other crops.
NaijaAgroNet noted that CBNRMP is being implemented in the nine Niger Delta states of Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers aimed at improving the standard of living and quality of life of or at least 400,000 poor rural households with emphasis on women and youths.
He explained that the ongoing agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government has come to restore the country’s lost glory in agriculture and urged Nigerians to embrace all aspects of agriculture because crude oil would one day finish while agriculture would continue to be renewed by nature.
In their remarks, the IFAD Country Programme Manager in Nigeria, Ms Atsuko Toda, urged the state programme officers to utilise the two-year extension of the programme to ensure the achievement of the goals of the programme, while the CBNRMP National Coordinator Jumbo-Ibeakuzie commended IFAD for cutting down the counterpart funding of the participating local governments from 40 per cent to 20 per cent, to make them more committed to the programme.
*with additional report from NAN