FG Urges Agriculture Colleges To Prioritise Vocational Training For Food Security

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News in brief:
– Nigeria’s agric minister urges federal colleges to prioritise vocational and skills acquisition programs over theoretical learning to enhance success in the agricultural sector.
– He emphasised the importance of agricultural research and training in driving transformation, promoting increased productivity to alleviate poverty and food insecurity.

The federal government of Nigeria has called upon federal colleges of agriculture to shift their focus towards vocational and skills acquisition training programs in a bid to boost food production and ensure national food security.

This directive, delivered by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, came during a meeting with executive directors of national agricultural research institutes, provosts of federal colleges of agriculture, and directors of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN).

Emphasising the need for practical knowledge, Kyari, represented by Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, urged the institutions to prioritise hands-on experience over theoretical learning. This approach, the ministry believes, will equip beneficiaries with the practical skills necessary to succeed in the agricultural sector.

Furthermore, the minister directed the ARCN to collaborate with key stakeholders in agricultural education to ensure the successful implementation of this new directive.

Also, Kyari encouraged the utilisation of available land within agricultural research and training institutions for direct food production. He stated that the initiative aims to promote food production and aligns with the ministry’s overall goals.

Research and training: key to transforming Nigeria’s agricultural sector

The minister underlined the importance of agricultural research and training in driving agricultural transformation. He highlighted the potential of agriculture to significantly impact Nigeria’s economy by providing food, nutrition, industrial opportunities, and jobs.

Explaining further, he stressed that increased agricultural productivity held the key to unlocking socioeconomic transformation and improving livelihoods for millions of Nigerians. He added that it had the potential to lift people out of poverty and food insecurity, ultimately contributing to improved living standards.

Kyari siad that this was the rationale behind the government’s emphasis on implementing the amended ARCN Act, which create provisions for efficient management of research and training, including the establishment of spin-off companies to commercialise research products and innovations generated by institutions.

He encouraged the institutions to leverage the platform to strengthen their financial sustainability and support research, training, and extension activities.

Professor Garba Sharubutu, Executive Secretary of ARCN, welcomed the minister’s contributions to the council’s development and noted his instrumental role in the recent amendment of the ARCN Act. He emphasised the importance of the meeting in facilitating discussions on the amended Act’s content, exploring revenue generation strategies, performance evaluation systems, and restructuring the ARCN.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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