The Nation Newspaper
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N24.4 billion for the first phase of the Smart Irrigation Scheme (SIS), the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna, has said.
He said Nigeria is already trying to promote a multi-crops season farming program.
As part of an all-year-round bumper harvest plan, the Federal Government has decided to establish six Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes (AMEDIs) in the geopolitical zones.
The AMEDIs, Haruna said yesterday, will teach farmers not only mechanized farming but modern farming techniques.
He said the country has been collaborating with the Czech Republic and Jordan on modern agriculture and manpower training on mechanized farming.
Haruna made the disclosures at the foundation laying of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) in Obudu, Cross River State for the South-South.
He said: “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had laid the foundation of ensuring multi-crops season farming program in Nigeria by approving N24.4 billion for the Phase One of the Smart Irrigation Scheme.
“The proliferation of mechanized farming is needed to meet the targeted bumper harvest all-year-round which informs the need for local production of tools and equipment and hence approval for the six institutes nationwide.
“One of the targets of implementing a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and the Czech Republic approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and managed by the Presidential Implementation Committee hosted by NASENI is to make Agriculture attractive to the youths by deploying mechanization and technology.
“NASENI experts trained recently in the Czech Republic and others in Jordan in modern agriculture are among the best Nigeria has ever produced in Agricultural Technology with capacity and know-how in the application of advances in agricultural technology especially, green agriculture.”
The EVC said six agricultural institutes will be established in each of the nation’s geopolitical zones with those in Phase One sited in Lafia (Nasarawa State for the North Central); Mbutu –Mbaise (Imo State for the South East; and Obudu (Cross River State for the South-South).
He added: “Each of the six (6) geo-political zones of Nigeria is allocated an AMEDI to meet the equipment needs of the Nation. Three out of these six (6) Agricultural equipment-based institutes are being developed in Phase One.
“These are AMEDI-Lafia, Nasarawa State for North Central; AMEDI Mbutu Mbaise, Imo State for South East; and Obudu in Cross River State for South-South. Lafia and Mbutu are expected to be commissioned in March 2023.
“The institutes are mandated to invent and produce tools, parts, systems and equipment, and machinery for cultivation, plantation, weeding, harvesting, shelling, processing and preservation through backward integration and domestication of foreign technologies in Agriculture copied by a well-trained staff of NASENI.
“AMEDI Obudu is one of the two selected by Jordanian Partners of NASENI for the pilot of an all-inclusive modern agricultural food traceability project being implemented using IOT devices for global acceptability of Nigerian food and cash crops to enhance foreign exchange through export of agricultural products.
“The AMEDIs will teach farmers not only mechanized farming but modern farming techniques using technology for enhanced yields per hectare of farmland for bumper harvest and profitability.”
Governor Ben Ayade commended the Federal Government for promoting the agricultural sector and said the institute will boost agriculture in the State.
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