Institute Tasks N’Delta States On Agric Dev

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The Zonal Co-ordinator of National Agricultural Extensional Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), South South Zone, Dr Suleman Abudu has advised states in the Niger Delta to take radical steps to improve Agriculture across the region.
Abndu gave the advice at a summit on regional Agriculture Transformation held in Port Harcourt, Monday.
Abudu, who is an expert in Extension and rural sociology attributed most crises in the region to oil and gas as the only mainstream for quick wealth and employment generation in the regon.
He said despite that the region is the main oil and gas producing area sustaining the country, the region needs to undertake radical change in its agricultural system.
According to him, despite a handful of landmark infrastructure developments, the region remain the only part of the country that has witnessed an increase in food insecurity and has mushrooming agricultural and food deficits.
He noted that the progress in the level of agricultural productivity has been uneven across the region ranging from an increase of over 325 per cent of the country to a decrease of about 40 per cent in the region.
He, however, proposed the adoption of three-pronged approach to agricultural transformation in the region which would consider three key elements: farming, Agri-business and regional value chain.
The expert stressed the need for efficient farming system to grow food and agriculture produce through a system that can produce and adapt the young people for employment in the region.
“There is need for states in Niger Delta region to take proactive steps to improve on agriculture to reduced youth restiveness.
“Most of the crisis in the region was as a result of oil and gas as the only dependent economy for employment generation and quick wealth creation.
“Other parts of the country have agriculture alongside other economic sectors, but states in Niger Delta have little interest in other economic ventures.
This setback will have negative effect in the economy of the states in the region,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the representative of the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture and Divisional Agriculture Officer (DAO), Obio/Akpor LGA, Mr Agada Sunday said the state Ministry of Agriculture has placed in the pipeline agriculture-oriented plan to develop local farming in the state.
He said, most of the states farms have been revisited for full operators to boost food produce in the state.