By Nafiu Toyin Abdulqadri.
Kwara State government will be partnering with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to deliver food security in the State.
Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abdulrazaq, who disclosed this in a press statement on Friday said the state government would be investing at least N2bn to advance the investment of NEPAD in the agricultural sector in Kwara State.
Ajakaye reported that at the launch of the 10-year Agricultural Transformation Plan in Ilorin on Friday, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq said the plan was designed to provide food security and reduce poverty in the State.
“The plan is hinged in six pillars of crop production, finance, livestock, access to market, value chain, and cross-cutting programmes, the Governor said at the launch of the document in Ilorin, the state capital,” a part of Ajakaye’s statement reads.
Governor AbdulRazaq was also quoted as saying that the document has a trackable milestone upon which success in the plan can be measured. In his words, “It is a 10-year plan which is based on verifiable data gathered from field research and extensive consultations with various stakeholders and experts in the sector. The plan spells out the opportunities and challenges in the agricultural sector in the state…”.
The governor, who could not hide his obvious excitement also said, “This week is one of the most exciting weeks because I met the French Ambassador to Nigeria who has agreed to send a team to Kwara State. He is particularly interested in agricultural sector, most especially the livestock sector.” He also disclosed ongoing plans to sign an agreement with the Lagos State Government on food production.
Speaking at the launch of the plan, the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu said the administration of AbdulRazaq is making frantic efforts to improve rural road infrastructure for easy movement of farm produce.
“This plan, when well implemented, will improve the state’s internally generated revenue, which is very important. With the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), about 700kms will be taken care of and the Agricultural Transformation Plan will be a plus to us all in the state,” he said.
Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, AbdulQowiy Olododo also explained that the plan is unique and comprehensive as it captures both the enormous potentials in the agricultural sector in Kwara and the actionable steps that would be taken to harness such potentials and turn them into tangible benefits for all.
According to him, “In line with the vision of the Governor, this Transformation Plan has been designed to deliver unending benefits to the people of Kwara State. The benefits include but are not limited to massive decent job creation for women and youths, improved nutrition, availability and affordability of quality food, rural infrastructure development, improved living standard and economic growth.”
Meanwhile, the state chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria Hon. Umar Muhammad Aboki has commended the administration of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for consulting with and involving farmers in the plan and for developing the sector to attain food security.
“(AbdulRazaq’s) words can be taken to the bank. We have absolute confidence in your leadership because of what you have demonstrated not only in agriculture but virtually all spheres of the economy. All farmers are following the trends of events and are very happy with your laudable programmes and projects,” the head of the farmers union said.