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Adesina’s prize will stimulate interest in agriculture – Obasanjo

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Iowa(United State) – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the World Food Prize (WFP) award to Dr Akinwumi Adesina, will stimulate people’s interest in agriculture.

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo disclosed this in an interview on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa state in USA.

He said that the award was an inspiration to all those involved in the agriculture sector either in the aspect of research, production, marketing or financing.

“So what does this do, it encourages anybody in agriculture in the same way that Nobel prize in any of the areas that it has been created to serve will encourage people in that area.

“And every aspect of agriculture be it research, be it production, be it marketing, be it financing in all aspect of agriculture.

“It should be an encourager and that is why it should help us not only in Nigeria but in Africa generally.

On the zero hunger forum, Obasanjo said it was geared towards achieving sustainable food security and nutrition in Nigeria.

The essence of the forum was to see how the national report on agriculture was being implemented at the states level.

He said that the implementation of the forum would involve every states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory.

The Nigeria zero hunger strategy review 2030 was launched in January.

It was aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) that emphasises the prominence of food security and nutrition in member states.

Obasanjo said that agriculture should be driven at the rural communities and states level, adding that the duty of the Federal Government was to provide conducive environment.

According to him, the forum selected eight pilot States including Sokoto, Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Ogun, Ondo, Kebbi to add impetus to efforts of sustaining food security in the country.

He said that the aim of creating the pilot states was for the forum committee members to actively monitor activities in those States.

“For the first two years we want to involve about half a dozen of states and now we have made it eight states because we want to be meeting in those states quarterly.

“We want to see what they are doing, how they are doing it and what can others learn from them, what can we advise them to do. We have had the first meeting in Benue state, we are having the second meeting in two weeks’ time in Ebonyi state.

“And the Benue state the first one we had was fairly successful. We saw what they are doing and we were able to advise them what they should do differently and they have taken it up.

“We were able to help them where they need help internally and even where we think they can get external assistance.

“After that we may make it six states per year so that within five years we will have covered the whole 36 states.

Obasanjo said that the eight pilot states were taken for the first two years, adding that every states was on but“ we are visiting these eight pilot states in the first two years.

The forum membership consists of Minister of Agriculture and Health, African Development Bank, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Obasanjo Foundation, Dangote Group and others. (NAN)

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