Government unveils agric institute to boost food production, others
Determined to make Nigeria a hub and supplier of agro-allied technologies, equipment and machinery for the development of the agriculture sector, Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has performed the ground-breaking of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI), Lafia, Nasarawa State for North Central geo-political zone.
He was represented by Special Assistant to the President on Foreign and International Affairs, Ambassador Abdullahi Omaki.
Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of six agricultural machinery and equipment development institutes, one each for a geo-political zone.
The intention of the government is to reduce importation and Nigeria’s continued reliance on foreign technologies for agricultural implements, as well as to conserve foreign exchange.
In his welcome address, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, said: “It is a case of a promise kept by the President Buhari administration, as the establishment of the agric machinery institute, Lafia targets the provision of 10 million jobs for unemployed Nigerian youths through economic diversification, especially exploring the gains of agriculture in nation building.”
In his remarks, Gambari said AMEDI symbolises the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of a technology-based economy, noting that one of the prominent issues in public discourse was how to boost the financial system through the deployment of technologies.
According to the COS, AMEDI is to host a demonstration farm as a pilot project to showcase new farming methods via modern techniques, innovation, technologies and extension services to farmers and agro-allied industries nationwide.
His words: “Today, we are here to kick off another flagship project with the establishment of AMEDI, Lafia, building on the remarkable success of the other NASENI development institutes across the country. We are confident that AMEDI, Lafia will serve as the cradle for nurturing professional engineers and scientists with proficiency in the design and manufacturing of diverse agricultural machinery and equipment. I am sure that AMEDI will in no time emerge as a centre of excellence in agricultural machinery and equipment design to enable Nigeria to scale new heights as the paradise for agricultural produce and a hub for agro-allied technologies.”
He saluted Governor Abdullahi Sule for taking the bull by the horns.
He equally lauded Prof. Haruna for ensuring that the project saw the light of day.
Gambari pointed out a lot is being expected from NASENI and AMEDI when fully operational by farmers, entrepreneurs and agro-allied industries.
“The Presidency will constantly provide the needed support for AMEDI and NASENI in developing new products to promote a diversified economy for our beloved nation.
“Home-initiated and home-sustained industrialisation is key to achieving a sustainable economic recovery for Nigeria because technology is the secret behind the Asian, European and American magic,” he added.