By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government, led by Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai on Tuesday has formulated policy documents to enhance the unprecedented growth and development of agriculture, after nine months of research and extensive consultations.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hajiya Halima Lawal, further disclosed that the policy evolved in response to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 and 2 and the need to diversify the economy.
The commissioner further said that the policy will develop ‘’agriculture as the economic backbone, create self-sufficiency in food production in line with the federal government’s effort to diversify the economy, reducing over-dependency on oil and ultimately create enabling environment for private sector investment.’’
According to her, the policy was conceived to accelerate agricultural development and facilitate its overall socio-economic prosperity by addressing the huge challenge of inefficient and ineffective agricultural systems.
The commissioner reiterated that the Nasir El Rufai ‘’administration recognizes that in ensuring food self-sufficiency for employment generation and stimulating agro industrial development, Agricultural is key.’’
‘’ The present administration is fully aligned with the federal government in diversify the economy to shift from oil to the non-oil sector,’’ she added.
The Commissioner also said that the documents will guide ‘’all stakeholders in the state’s quest for rapid agricultural development including the private sector through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept, as well as in ‘stand-alone’ investments in line with global best practices.’’
Halima also noted that the documents will provide strong legal framework for the needed confidence to investors in the sector as well as commit the state and local governments to adequate annual budgetary allocations to agriculture.
Halima thanked both the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa(AGRA) for funding the evolution of the policy through a two-year capacity strengthening project, and the facilitator, Synergos Nigeria for their assistance.
She also commended the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UKAid and the Rockefeller Foundation for their support.