The Honourable Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, Chief Audu Ogbeh has promised to negotiate about 100 ha of land for the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) in Abuja at the Gurara Dam Irrigation Scheme land along the Kaduna road. He also promised to negotiate for the release of 2 tractors to enhance mechanized crop production and operations of the youths on the piece of land. Chief Audu Ogbeh stated this while receiving the delegates of IITA and the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) in his office on March 14, in Abuja.
Welcoming the IITA and IYA delegates led by IITA Director General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga in his office, the Minister said the IYA initiative championed by IITA was in line with his vision of ensuring that agriculture is embraced by the Nigerian youth as a business. Sharing some statistics with the delegation, the Minister said agriculture will be the next goldmine of the world. He added that the country is finding it difficult to meet up with demands of food supply from countries around the world.
He enjoined the youths to tap into the opportunity and secure the future by taking agriculture as a business. He added that the ministry will build a Youth-Agro Industrial Complex in Abuja and other states of the federation to train and empower youths in agribusiness.
The Minister also laid emphasis on banana and plantain production through the tissue culture technique. He urged IITA to invest more in tissue culture to enhance production of suitable banana and plantain for export.
Responding to the Minister, Dr Nteranya Sanginga highlighted the efforts made by IITA in the areas of food production and research. He said IITA will not rest on its oars as the Institute has the expertise and resources to boost food security and production in Africa. Others in the team include; Dr Alfred Dixon, Dr Tarawali Gbassey, Mrs Toyin Oke, Evelyn Ohanwusi, Ene Agada and Zacchaeus Isuwa.