By Dan Gumm
ILORIN â€” Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, yesterday, said at the ongoing International Agribusiness Summit and Expo, that if Nigeria must achieve socio-economic development, â€œwe must embark on well-articulated strategy of developing the capacity in agriculture.â€
The governor, who noted that agriculture, if transformed, could be a major foreign exchange earner for the country, also stated that Kwara State “is collaborating with foreign technical partners in developing exportable green house farms that would take advantage of the cargo terminal for exports.â€
In a welcome address, Governor Saraki, who was represenred by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Mohammed Gana Yisa, listed preponderance of illiterate population, lack of management of harvest of proceeds, over reliance on rudimentary technology of hoes and overdependence on rains, untapped underground water for agriculture, the banking sectorâ€™s lack of understanding of the peculiarities of agriculture banking processes as challenges facing agriculture in Nigeria.
To salvage the situation, Saraki said something must be done fast to keep at bay the poverty which “is boldly written on the faces of our people,” even as he urged the intelligentsia in Nigeria and West African region to be at the vanguard of bringing a significant change for the better.
Kwara State, according to him, has moved into large scale commercial farming that would guarantee increased productivity, integrate small farm holders into core farming centres and in the end create wealth for its people.
International Agribusiness Summit and Expo with the theme: â€œAgribusiness Investment: Destination West Africa,â€ is being organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in collaboration with the Kwara State Government.