Nigerian youths have been called upon to develop themselves and the nation’s economy through agriculture as a result of its importance for the all-round growth and development of the nation has once again been emphasized.
This call was made by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Sabo Nanono, at the flagoff of the Delta Global Agritourism Village Project, in Asaba.
The Minister, represented by the Federal Director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. John Omovroke, expressed joy at the initiative saying that it was a ‘new found agricultural sector which can be nurtured for the enjoyment of national and international visitors as well as to generate supplemental income both for the owners and the country’.
He further revealed that the Federal Government had launched a time-bound plan to unlock the nation’s agricultural potential through the Agricultural Promotion Policy (2016-2020), which is aimed at providing a disciplined approach to building a resilient agribusiness ecosystem that sill solve issues at the heart of limited food production, tackle lending to farmers by financial institutions, as well as reduce level of food import across the world.
He commended the initiator and pledged the support of the government saying that it was committed to promoting foreign and local partnerships to advance the present level of our technology and investments in the agricultural sector as a veritable strategy in our progress to diversify the economy through the agricultural sector for economic recovery.
Also speaking, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, represented by the Senior Special Assistant on Oil and Gas to the Deputy Senate President, Hon. Azuka Agbidi, while commending the initiative, said that it was an avenue to put to rest the farmer/ herder crises currently bedeviling the country.
He decried that reserves belonging to both the state and Federal government had been allowed to lie fallow for many years, and called on Nigerians, particularly the youths to put their ingenuity to work.
He noted that the Federal Government had setup programmes to aid Nigerians, particularly farmers, especially in light of the hardship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and advocated that farmers should take advantage of such facilities.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of International Tourist Choice Ltd and initiator of the project, Mr. Trust Ogboi, while welcoming guests said that the project which had the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the project was aimed at developing and promoting agritourism at the grassroots as well as fostering public/ private partnership in the Agriculture/ Tourism sectors of the nation’s economy.
He further explained that the Nigerian Agritourism Village project had been zoned into 6 geopolitical zones, with the Delta Global Agritourism Village in the South-South zone as its pilot.
He noted that the project is capable of generating over fifty thousand jobswhich would go a long way in ‘improving the economy, reduce crime as well as illegal migration and rural-urban drift.’
Also at the event were representatives of the Asagba of Asaba and the Obi of Abah-Unor, who commended the initiative and promised the support of their communities.
Highlight of the program was the declaration of the flagoff of the project by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Sabo Nanono, and the presentation of awards to notable dignitaries present.