By Mohammed Mohammed
The Federal Government through the Ministery of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Friday launchrd the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, (NATIP), 2022 – 2027.
The holistic programme, according to the Minister, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar is geared towards boosting agribusiness undertakings for food and nutrition security in the country.
The Minister made this known during the launch of the national policy in Abuja.
Abubakar stated that NATIP was a response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of diversifying the nation’s economy from petroleum oil based to agriculture driven national development strategy.
In his words: “The focus of the new National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy 2022- 2027 was premised on the 10 thematic areas of Stakeholders Synergy and Alignment, Knowledge Creation and Transfer, Rapid Mechanization, Extension Service Delivery, Livestock Development, Crop Value Chain Strengthening, Fisheries and Aquaculture.’’
He added that the policy covers the cross-cutting areas of Digital and Climate – Smart, Agriculture promotion, Rural Infrastructure, Export Standardization, Data and Information Management ,Quality Agricultural Inputs Access and Women and Youth in Agriculture.
Speaking further, the Minister revealed that ‘’The ministry has sustained various initiative for the development of the agriculture sector, hence, the issue of embracing technology and innovation becomes inevitable for transforming the nation’s agricultural system of empowering smallholder farmers to adopt new technologies and best practices for an enhanced production.”
He noted that the implementation strategy of the policy has outlined clear responsibilities and roles among the National, State and Local Government Actors with clear indicators and timelines for robust and collective tracking of progress throughout the period of implementing the programme.
The Minister lauded the relevant Stakeholders, Development Partners, Non- Governmental Organization, Civil Society, Financial Institutions and Researchers for their contributions to the development of successful framework of the NATIP 2022- 2027.
Abubakar, therefore, urged stakeholders to key into the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, 2022 -2027 for its smooth implementation towards ensuring food and nutrition security in the country.
In his remarks, Minister of State, Agricultural and Rural Development, Hon. Mustafa Baba Shehuri, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe stated that collaboration and robust partnership are critical towards overcoming the effects of climate change, security challenges and diseases outbreaks that continue to constrain the process of increase in production.
Shehuri, added that “The priority of this administration accords to agriculture has continually stimulated the interest and engagement of state actors to align their programmes and projects for the smooth implementation of the policy document in the country.”
The United State Agency for Development Mission Director in Nigeria, Anne Patterson, represented by the Deputy Mission Director, Sara Werth in her remarks, stated that the Organization would continue to provide financial and Technical support to fast-track Agricultural development in Nigeria.
In his remark, the Acting Country Program Leader, Dr. Bedru Balana pointed out that the Policy would ensure the implementation of new technology and innovation in agricultural sector and also drive the diversification Agenda of the Federal Government.
Signed: Ezeaja Ikemefun, for: Director, Information (FMARD).