Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, has convened the first ever retreat on agriculture as part of measures to revolutionise agriculture and create employment for youths of the state.
Buni who declared the four-day retreat open with the theme: “Enhancing Agricultural activities for food security and economic growth”, in Damaturu regretted that agriculture which used to be the mainstay of the nation had been neglected for too long hence the need for government to shift ground from oil.
“As in many states across the country, a majority of our people here in Yobe State engage in farming as a primary source of livelihood. Agriculture is the linchpin of our economy.
“But at a time when our country continues to look for ways to diversify the economy, create more jobs and lift people out of poverty, it does not seem as if we are making the best of agriculture as the best alternative for wealth creation. Despite the abundance of land and the energy of our people, agriculture here in Yobe State still remains largely subsistent”, Buni said.
“It does not seem as if we are making the best of agriculture as an alternative means of wealth creation,” he said.
According to the governor, despite the abundance of land and human capital, agriculture still remains largely at subsistence level, with low productivity among farmers.
“There are still challenges to be met,” he lamented.
The challenges facing farmers in the state, he said, comprise low productivity, limited access to improved seeds, weak research and extension services.
He added that poor access to credit facilities also hamper the development of agriculture.
The sector holds the key to opportunities that could significantly improve people’s living conditions, he asserted.
His words, “Our objective is to encourage sustainable agriculture through an integrated system of plant and animal production practices.
“Agriculture is an engine of job creation and path to sustainable development and prosperity.”
The retreat, according to Buni, is meant to strengthen agricultural planning on effective utilisation of research findings.
The retreat which has brought together researchers and experts in agriculture according to the governor will be coordinated by a technical team headed by the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Yobe State University, Prof. Abba Gambo, and is charged with the responsibility, “to thoroughly digest all the presentations and recommendations to be made so as to formulate implementation strategies for the state government.”