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2023 National Agric Show: Farmers, firms seek business opportunities

The 2023 National Agricultural Show has kicked off at the National Agricultural Foundation Show Ground, Kilometre 28, Abuja-Keffi Expressway. This year’s event has brought together…

The 2023 National Agricultural Show has kicked off at the National Agricultural Foundation Show Ground, Kilometre 28, Abuja-Keffi Expressway.

This year’s event has brought together farmers, agro companies, development partners, captains of industries, developers of agricultural innovations and the business community seeking to expand their networks and find opportunities.

Stakeholders, including research institutes, colleges of agriculture and other agri-based organisations, are also exhibiting their various technologies and techniques to the admiration of farmers, entrepreneurs and other actors in the agricultural space.

In his welcome address, the President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Architect Kabiru Ibrahim, said the show was significant to boosting farmers’ business potentials as the country sought to strengthen its food security machinery.

He noted that agriculture used to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy in the 50s, 60s and early 70s and could be said to be the major attraction for the colonisation of Nigeria by the British. 

He said, “Today we are about 200,000,000 grappling with crushing challenges in our food system, forcing Mr President to declare a state of emergency on the attainment of food security in the midst of insecurity, abysmal mechanisation, over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture and a host of other threat factors.

Our population is projected to be about 400,000,000 come 2050. So, there is a lot of work to be done to make Nigeria food and nutrition secure. The dream of one man, HE Abdullahi Adamu, the then Governor of Nasarawa State, led to the formation of NAFN in 2007 which initiated the Annual Agricultural Show in Nigeria, and we are today celebrating the 15th edition as a veritable contribution to the realisation of Mr President’s declaration of state of emergency on food security.»

He further said that the choice of the theme of this year’s event: “Towards the realisation of the presidential declaration of state of emergency on food security in Nigeria”, was carefully selected to encapsulate the ever-compelling reason to articulate the food security question.

Architect Ibrahim applauded the rechristening of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) as “apt and should serve to send a clear message that Nigeria is poised to attain food security.”

He called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to place “direct subsidy on fertilisers by patronising the nearly 70 blending companies created through the PFI.

“Mr President should find time to periodically interface with the farmers on Farmers’ Day events to be solely organised by FMAFS, going forward, in order to ‘walk his talk’ on the question of the attainment of sustainable food security.

Declaring the event open, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the four key priorities of the Renewed Hope agenda of presidential priorities were well-aligned with the mandate and operations of the ministry.

He explained that: “One, food security. Number two, economic growth and job creation. Number four, inclusivity for youth and women and enabling environment for individuals, groups and the private sector to participate in governance and economic activities.

“Accordingly, and going forward, we commit to ensuring that all programmes and initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security are completely aligned to attaining these four presidential priorities.”

In his goodwill message, Professor GB Ayoola, who leads the national campaign on the «Right to Food” for all Nigerians as a fundamental human right to be enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, said the essence was to ensure that there was accountability in the implementation of sustainable agricultural policies that would make food available to all Nigerians.

The Nasarawa State Governor, Engr Sule Abdullahi, represented by his Deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, said the show placed significant importance to food security.

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