Food Security: Buhari Flags-off Agriculture Development Institute in Nasarawa

By Frank Momoh

In keeping with the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to make Nigeria the West-Africa’s hub for the development of agro-allied industries, machines and technologies, the President at the weekend flagged off operations of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) Lafia, Násarawa State.

President Buhari commended  the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science Engineering and Infrastructure (NASENI) Prof. Mohammed Haruna and his  management team for completing the project in record time since the foundation laying ceremony was carried out in August 2022.

“You have worked very hard to achieve this, I commend you and your management for a job well done, to have completed this project with such speed.

“With these words at the weekend, President Buhari commissioned AMEDI, Lafia and therefore the institute was set out to fulfill its mandate toward agricultural revolution agenda of the government.” He said.

Equipped with modern laboratories and machines for mechanized farming and agricultural development in the country, AMEDI is built for the purpose of making Nigeria a hub and supplier of Agro-Allied technologies, equipment and machines towards achieving Agricultural revolution within the West African subregion and also to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on importation of foreign technologies and all agricultural implements.

The Institute houses a smart administrative block, Juice Producing Machine, Tomatoes paste production and Milk production factories including laboratories and machine design workshops.

The institute is expected to host a demonstration farm which would serve as pilots to showcase new farming methods using modern techniques in agricultural processing, innovation and technologies and a system of providing extension services to Nigerian farmers and Agro-allied industries in the North-Central geo-political zone of the country and beyond.

In 2021, Buhari had approved the establishment of 6 Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes, 1 per geopolitical zone of the country with the aim, not only to ensure food security for Nigerians, but also for the purpose of export of foods and other agricultural implements to neighbouring African countries. 

After the cutting of tape, and during the touring of the institute’s modern facilities,  Buhari, commended NASENI for building such an ultramodern institute, saying it would create jobs for the unemployed youths and as well as create wealth for the nation,  while the EVC, thanked the President for tasking the management of the Agency with the project and also for the financial backing of the Federal government.

“It is your dream for Nigeria that is already coming to pass with the speedy completion of work and take off of this institute during the life-time of your administration”, Prof. Haruna told the President. 

The Governor of Nasarawa state Engr. Abdullahi Sule, who accompanied Mr. President to the commissioning of AMEDI, thanked the President for inaugurating Federal and State projects. He noted that AMEDI would transform agricultural production in the country and ensure food security. He also lauded the President’s support towards education, healthcare delivery and increased security in the State.

Speaking to Journalists shortly after the commissioning ceremony, Haruna, said that AMEDI Lafia was ready for commissioning as a result of commitment, hard work, interest and patriotism of NASENI management and also the contractors handling the project, adding that the foundation laying ceremony for the Institute was performed on 1st of August, 2022.

According to him, “the laboratory, gate house, everything you see here were done within a space of 5 months. We are committed, the contractors are committed. So, we worked 24 hours, because we want the President to commission the complex before May 29, 2023, and we are here today for the ceremony.

Despite the distractions like rain, we were able to reach this stage, we thank God.

On the challenges which the agency passed through while building the complex, he said one of them was how to keep the workers 24 hours on site, supervising them from Abuja and everywhere.

“The Other challenge is that this is not the only project. The Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes approved by the President is one per geopolitical zone of the country. This one in Nasarawa is for the north-central. The one for the South-South is in Cross River State, now under construction, also the one in South-East is located in Mbutu, Abom-Mbaise in Imo State also under construction. We still have three more to go.” Said Prof. Haruna.

However, he noted that among the six, these three were the ones which construction work had commenced, adding that the other three were yet to commence, the Nort-west, North-east and the South-west in Oshogbo will soon take off

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