Africa: Nigeria to Revamp Groundnuts Farming

By Shehu Abubakar


Nigeria is to rebound as a leading producer of groundnuts in Africa, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina said at an international gathering of agricultural researchers and policy makers in Patancheru, India.

The minister said in a keynote address at the 40th anniversary of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) that signing a three-year collaboration agreement on the rehabilitation and expansion of groundnut production with the Institute was one of the first major steps in restoring Nigeria’s status as a dominant producer and exporter of groundnuts in the world.

He noted that groundnut has remained as an important crop for resource-poor farmers in Nigeria, and expressed optimism that the partnership program between ICRISAT and Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would bring back Nigeria’s lost glory as a leading groundnut producer.

The minister’s remarks were based on Nigeria’s prowess in groundnuts production in the world from colonial days to the mid-1970s when drought and a national shift to the production of other crops combined to pale Nigeria’s status as a major groundnuts producer.

Dr. Adesina praised the Institute for the role it has played in agricultural transformation through research in the semi-arid parts of the world, adding that it “represents the best hope of farmers in the semi-arid tropics, crucial for the economic prosperity, food and nutritional security of the dry land poor.”

The minister acknowledged the relentless passion in helping Africa and the developing world that were demonstrated by ICRISAT in its 40 years of research-for-development work that has left footprints of success globally.

He said that ICRISAT’s research work made semiarid Ethiopia a major world exporter of chickpeas, revolutionaries food production through large-seeded pigeon pea varieties in Tanzania, improved yields through disease-resistant groundnut in Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique, and has helped farmers across Africa’s semi-arid tropics with the technique of fertilizer micro-dosing.

Dr. Adesina, who is a former researcher at the Institute, led a two-member delegation from Nigeria to the anniversary, delivered the Keynote address and briefed some of his counter-parts from more than 50 countries on the strides Nigeria is making in enhancing agricultural productivity, turning subsistence agriculture into business to create jobs and wealth through the development of various Value Chains. – Daily Trust



Posted by on Oct 18 2012. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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