The Honourable Federal Representative member, representing Dandume/ Funtua constituency, Katsina State under APC flag and Former Chairman Nigeria and PDP Governors Forum, Hon. Muntari Mohammed Dandutse stated this on his goodwill message at National Agricultural Seeds Council of Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development Workshop held on Tuesday, 7th March 2017 at Abuja.
To address “Critical Issues of Generating Seed Varieties in Nigeria with the Green Alternative Agenda of Government.”
He noted that Nigeria has a vibrant cultural heritage and unique political history to its distinctive farming system, In Agricultural field, Farming truly has something for everyone that even Five of hi legislative colleagues are working towards going into Agro- Businesses. And better than that, most every aspect of Nigeria’s rich heritage is rooted in its bountiful agricultural resources.
“My promise is, I will go back with all these issues in mind and I can assure you, with these, we will work to back up more Research Institutes Development. We are highly behind all you do, even Five of my members are planning to go into farming inclusive of myself. This workshop is a step to right direction”, The Former S.A to President on Budget assured.
In Respond to Newsmen questions, Hon. Dandutse says, “I am confident that this workshop’s agenda has generated insightful discussions on today’s most pressing agriculture and rural development challenges facing our Country”.
In as much, We are lawmakers, we also have a duty of investigating those situations that impede or affect the ability of the governmental sectors to function properly, Agriculture is one of the primary sector. We hope to come out with adequate laws and policies that will capture some of the critical issues raised here today, to create laws that will make all work in good direction”, He assured.
Meanwhile, The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh seized the opportunity to remind participants of the FMAD goal and targets towards self- sufficient that will lead to attaining food security.
The need to find solutions to achieving import substitutions and reduction of import bills.
He highlighted that the aims of the workshop was to seek suggestions and look into the action plans of the council towards Agricultural revival.
Ogbeh used the event to warn members of the society importing foreign seeds into the country and selling grain instead of seeds to the farmers.
“Anyone passing grains for seeds will face the law, they are cheating farmers,” The Minister warned.
He went on to note ” Foreign seeds being imported illegally are causing a lot problems and is not allowed. The Society need to be educated that by bringing something from outside and destroying one at home. Some are sorts of virus to infect ones at home and Immigration should intensifies the search checking for such”, He stressed.
He promised more support and partnership from the Ministry to Seed Council and that Ministry of Interior and Agric are working in Partnership with Agro-Rangers to arrive where Ranch will be provided for them that will curb their nomadic and farm destructions.
” If we put grass and water for them in strategic places, Herdsmen will have no need to move about”, The Minister said.
Some of the key issues raised are;
The debt owed to members by the Ministry.
The need for development of more Research Institutes due to inability of Universities to realising seed varieties.
Change in Climate issues and seeds diseases and need for researchers to develop more resistance seed processing approach i.e advance laboratory.
The NASC Director General, Dr. Philip Ojo, called on, an urgent attention to these key issues as wet season are around the corner and the need for members to be paid as some are already in black book of some banks.
The Minister gave assurance that Pre-planned measures are already put in place against draught season and debt owed by the Ministry will be cleared in no-distance time.