Jigawa, IITA partner to revolutionize agriculture

By Innocent Raphael

The Jigawa State Government and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have partnered to leverage agricultural innovation and technology for transformation of the sector.

The collaboration was unveiled during a visit by IITA delegation, led by Ms. Aline Mugisho, Executive Manager of the IITA’s I-Youth Project, to Governor Mallam Umar Namadi at the Government House in Dutse.

Mugisho emphasized IITA’s extensive experience in African agriculture, which spans over five decades and includes operations in 134 countries. She highlighted the importance of rethinking current agricultural practices and technologies to tackle the challenges faced by farmers across different ecological zones.

“Our initiatives have already created over 52,000 direct jobs and benefited over 200,000 individuals. Now, we are committed to making Jigawa a center of excellence in agricultural development,” Ms. Mugisho stated, emphasizing the critical role of empowering Nigerian youth through technology-driven agricultural solutions.

Namadi expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, noting its alignment with Jigawa State’s 12-point development agenda. He emphasized the potential of agriculture as a primary employer in Nigeria and a viable business opportunity for youth.

“This collaboration resonates deeply with our administration’s focus on agricultural development. By strengthening the agricultural value chain, we can significantly reduce unemployment, boost the economy, and promote self-sufficiency,” Governor Namadi said.

He also highlighted Jigawa’s ongoing efforts in skills development, revealing that over 4,000 youths have been trained in various skills within the past year through seven functional skills acquisition centers. The state is enhancing agricultural training through dedicated institutions and reviewing policies to promote agriculture as a profitable venture.

“We are reviewing our agricultural policy with the support of FCDO to ensure that agriculture is seen as a business. We aim to convince our youth that agriculture is no longer a subsistence activity but a business where one can earn a living. Our programs are designed to involve our youths in this vision,” he added.

Namadi also mentioned the implementation of cluster farming systems to engage youth effectively and develop the entire agricultural value chain.

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