The Federal Government says improving agricultural practices through mechanization is a good way to encourage unemployed youth to embrace agriculture.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, said this at the inauguration of a multi-purpose crop and grain dryer machine in Sheda, Kwali Area Council on Thursday in Abuja.
He was represented by Solomon James, Director, General Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Umakhihe commended the Federal Department of Extension Services for introducing the machine to farmers.
” One of the key goals of the Green Imperative project is to address the deficit in agricultural mechanization in Nigeria.
” Therefore, through the programme, the country is set for a revolution in agriculture through the use of mechanization innovation that will stimulate the production of food.
” It will also attract investments, create massive employment and enhance the livelihood of farming families,” he said.
Umakhihe expressed optimism that this new extension approach of providing necessary mechanization to farmer’s groups would guarantee to treat agriculture as a business.
He said this would attract the necessary investments, innovations and best practices for national development.
” Improving agricultural practices through mechanization is a good way to encourage the teaming of unemployed youth into agriculture.
” The Ministry will stimulate other necessary support which is finance, training and so on to facilitate the success of this new agricultural extension model,” he said.
Earlier, the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Services, Frank Kudla, said the multi-purpose crop and grain dryer machine’s target was to support farmer’s groups to reduce post-harvest losses.
Kudla said that one of the advantages of GTR 750 mobile dryer technology is its collective usage by a number of farmers.
He said that the mobile dryer had a plug-and-play machine that has its own loading, cleaning, drying, cooling, and offloading technology.
Kudla said that the machine also has a control panel which makes it easy to operate.
In a remark, the President, Sorghum and Millet Farmers Association of Nigeria, Yusuf Adams, commended the federal government for the adoption of the multi-grain dryer technology.
Also, the FCT Coordinator, Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Comfort Sunday, thanked the federal government for providing the dryer machine for smallholder farmers.
She called on the government to implement the ‘ Malabo Declaration’ which recommended 10 percent of budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector across Africa.
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