Kano State Government has expressed its readiness and commitment to work with Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and other stakeholders to fund agricultural researches and promote the application of innovative technologies and utilisation of research outcomes, for the benefit of the teeming agricultural population of Kano State, in particular, and the nation, at large.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, gave the assurance while addressing participants at the opening ceremony of three International Training Workshops at the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Bayero University, Kano (BUK).
Dr. Gawuna said that promotion of agricultural development was the topmost priority of the Kano State Government. He noted that the Federal Government had accorded the sector the needed attention in view of its significant contribution to the Nigerian economy.
“We are ready to partner with the Centre for Dryland Agriculture and other stakeholders to fund agricultural research to address the daunting challenges of unemployment, poverty and food insecurity,” the Commissioner assured. He noted that the State Government had invested so much to improve the sector, especially in view of the current economic challenges facing the country.
“Kano State Government is ever willing to fund researches and promote the application of innovations in all aspects of agriculture in order to facilitate the enhancement of overall productivity and address the challenges of food insecurity”, the Commissioner said. He commended CDA for its foresight in conducting researches and organising international seminars and workshops aimed at addressing the challenges of food insecurity.
Declaring the Workshops open, the Vice Chancellor, BUK, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello, submitted that the problems of rising population, food insecurity, poverty and insecurity in West and Central African countries are surmountable if the diverse stakeholders, especially in the field of agriculture, would work hand-in-hand to address the challenges of low productivity and non-sustainable use of resources.
The Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Professor Adamu Idris Tanko, challenged the participants to make effective use of the trainings to impact positively on human development. He observed that, with high calibre human resources and investments in research, training and outreach, Nigeria and other countries of West and Central Africa could attain food security and sustainable economic development. He charged the CDA to continue working with other stakeholders to attain this goal.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director of CDA, Prof Jibrin M. Jibrin, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Training, Professor S. G. Mohammed, said the resource persons, drawn from diverse backgrounds and countries, including India, Kenya and Ghana, were seasoned professionals in their fields and expected to transfer skills that were most needed by the participants for quality research, innovations, outreach and publications. The Workshops, which concurrently commenced on Monday 10 July, 2017, he said, were organised to achieve the goal of the CDA in developing high capacity human resources for agricultural development in the dryland countries of West and Central Africa.
The first of the workshops was the ‘2nd International Advanced Training Programme on Organic and Green Agriculture’, organised in partnership with the Faculty of Agriculture, BUK and the Organic Agricultural Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN). The second was the ‘Application of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System in Agriculture’, in partnership with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), while the third was the ‘Capacity Building Training on Statistics and Data Analysis; organised by the CDA.
The participants were drawn from institutions of higher learning (Universities and Colleges of Agriculture), research institutes, ministries at federal and state levels, private sector investors, farmers and a range of other stakeholders within the field of agriculture and natural resource management and other related fields.