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Published On: Wed, Jun 11th, 2014

Conference concludes debate on of C’ttees’ report on agriculture, water resources

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The on-going National Conference extended sitting yesterday, to enable it finish debate on the Report of the Committee on Agric and Water Resources
Zamani Lekwot from Kaduna state, during his contribution, said dams and canal should be constructed to combat flooding. He said food security would be ensured if the proper things are taken care of.
Silas Eneyo from South-South said he knows very well about fishing and that Nigeria needs deep fishing
Segun Aina, representing CIB, said the recommendation for the resuscitation of Commodity Board is good. He said there is need to set up Youth Farmer Programme and connect it with NYSC so that after their service they can go into farming. He suggested that for the small scale farmer, there should be a way to subsidize the premium paid by them.
Felix Bajomo, a former senator from Ogun State representing ICAN, said agriculture is important and said “let us produce all that we eat and eat all that we produce.” He said the extra aspect of it should be for business. He said industrialisation aspect should start from agro-based approach. He said research at the moment in the country is not connecting with industrialization. He called for farm settlement, but it should be mechanized and extended to the states.

Geoffrey Ejiga, a retired general from Benue State said funding for rural farmers is important. he said government policies should be passed through Micro-finance banks because commercial banks are not encouraging it. He lamented that farming is very crude in Nigeria hence Nigerians youth are not encouraged into it because they believe it is crude.
Fatima Adamu from Kebbi state wants a plan that will systemically infuse young entrepreneurs with aging farmers. She also wants a process that research is made to the advantage of the end users.
Delegates recomendd that any corrupt money in Nigeria go to agriculture. Whoever has two houses in Abuja should be taxed and money put into agriculture.

Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi said Nigeria has not actually fully utilized the AGOA. She adviced that Nigeria should seize the opportunity of AGOA to promote export because it would terminate in 2015. She also said all Nigeria has done is to sell our oil product. She said various governments should encourage women to go into cooperatives so that they can access bank loans without showing any collateral.
Musa Saliu representing FCT said Nigeria loses 70% of perishable foods – mango, vegetable, yams etc. He said the various method of preserving yam in the past cannot be used now. He suggested that the country should have a technology that would help preserve these foods. He also said Nigeria should have a provision for forest reserve because of wildlife.
Dudu Koloma Manuga, a CSO, said in Gombe state those who go to buy produce in the rural areas go with fake note. He wants special way of handling the matter because the people are losing a lot.
Paul Basi from Borno State said any corrupt money recovered in Nigeria should go into agriculture. He also said that whoever has two houses in Abuja should be taxed and money put into agriculture. He said any Nigerian found guilty of corruption should be executed.
Lydia John commended the committee for recommending gender budgeting by the government. She also said there is the need to redesign agric courses to make them practical and also provide employment opportunities for Professionals in the Agricultural sector.
Conference adjourns till 9 am today, following a motion of adjournment moved by Musa Adede and seconded by Brendan Akpan.

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