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Research council advises on post-oil economy through agric

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The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) has proposed the establishment of Agricultural Entrepreneurial Development Centres (AEDC) across the federation preparatory to a post-oil economy.

ARCN Executive Secretary, Professor Garba Sharubutu, who made the suggestion, also appealed to the Federal Government to set up a special committee to deliberate on the post-petroleum economy in Nigeria and make appropriate recommendations that would guarantee the survival of the nation’s economy.

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Sharubutu, while maintaining that it was essential that the post-petroleum economy in Nigeria be sustainable by diversifying through agriculture, stressed that the core economic diversification using agriculture must be long-term and skills-based.
   
In an interaction with The Guardian in Abuja, the executive secretary expressed happiness that Nigeria was investing in agricultural skills development and acquisition.
  
He said: “Fortunately, Nigeria currently invests significantly into agricultural skills development and acquisition on a yearly basis. For example, about 50 to 69 per cent of the Zonal Intervention Projects in the agricultural sector are focused on skills development.

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“This is imperative because most facilities for training students in the colleges and universities are outdated and unavailable. Therefore, most of the training programmes being received by students are at best theoretical and may not fully fit in within the context of agriculture in the country.” 
  
Sharubutu emphasised the need for farmers to understand how to face the challenges of social and economic barriers, regulations, access to finance and information. 
   
He remarked that the setting up of entrepreneurial centres to cater for the practical needs of students will make them better equipped for a successful career in agribusiness as the global economy Is ever-changing and increasingly complex.

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