The Federal Government has affirmed that efforts are been made to modernise the agricultural sector through farm mechanisation and use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to target and encourage youth participation in agriculture.
Bukar Hassan, the Permanent Secretary, FMARD who was represented by Karima Babangida, the Director-Federal Department of Extension, made this known during a courtesy visit by Students of United States of America War College to the ministry.
He reiterated the commitment of the ministry in developing agriculture with a view to attaining national food security and provision of gainful employment for its teeming youth population.
He said the ministry in its effort to boost export is working with organisations such as the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to ensure safety standard of food, maintenance of international quality standards and safety requirements.
Aisha Mohammed, Head Projects Coordinating unit, during an interactive session, explained to the group that government is committed to changing the narrative of being a major importer of agricultural produce, especially rice to becoming a major exporter of rice, cassava, cocoa, and other produce.
She noted that importation of rice has dropped tremendously as Nigeria is now engaged in local production of the product.
Osagie Aimiuwu, USAID Nigeria, said his organisation has developed a programme on integrated agriculture that will focus on the North East, saying his agency will collaborate with officials of the ministry to implement the programme.
Cornell Charlett Woodaid, leader of the delegation disclosed that the mission to the Ministry of Agric is to interact with USAID desk officers, deepen exchange of knowledge that are sector specific and have first-hand knowledge of projects being implemented by the ministry.