Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday reaffirmed his ministration's commitment to positively transform the country’s agricultural sector, saying the ongoing reform in the sector was aimed at making agriculture a major wealth creator and source of employment for the nation’s youth.
The President according to a statement by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati gave the reassurance during an audience with a delegation from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) led by its President, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze.
President Jonathan said that the Federal Government was initiating and promoting reforms that will move Nigeria away from a preponderance of subsistence farming to the establishment of agriculture as a very viable modern-day business.
“We have a very large youthful population and to create enough jobs for them we must develop agriculture, solid minerals and other sectors. Nigeria has a lot of untapped potentials for agricultural development. If we can reposition agriculture as a profitable and dignified profession, more of our young people will be encouraged to go that way. We are very focused in this regard and I am confident that we will achieve positive results,” the President assured Dr. Nwanze and his delegation which included IFAD’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Atsuko Toda.
Noting that the implementation of its agricultural value chain development programme was a very important component of the Federal Government’s plans to revolutionize agricultural production in Nigeria, President Jonathan thanked IFAD for supporting the programme with a $74 virtually interest-free loan.
He praised Dr. Nwanze for his continuing support for agricultural development in Nigeria, saying that Nigeria was also proud of the good work the IFAD President was doing to promote self-sufficiency in food production globally.
Dr. Nwanze told the President that IFAD had given loans and grants worth $225 million for agricultural development in Nigeria since 1985.
He promised that IFAD will continue to support efforts of the Jonathan Administration to modernize agricultural production in Nigeria, saying that recent positive developments in the sector were a testimony to the President’s “commitment and dedication”.