By Ibrahim Kado
Yola, – An NGO, Synergos Nigeria, on Tuesday, inaugurated the North-East Regional Agricultural Sector Alignment Platform.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the platform according to the NGO, was aimed at improving food security in the region.
Mr Victor Adejo, Country Representative, Synergos Nigeria, in his remarks during the inauguration of the platform on Tuesday in Yola, said that the objective of the multi stakeholder platform was to bridge leadership gap.
Adejo said Synergos would be engaging closely with state and non-state actors to make deliberate efforts to ensure the alignment of interventions with the goals of the state development plans in the region.
He also said that to improve efforts for evidence-based strategies to feed the region, the “Feed the Future” a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), funded Rural Resilient Activity (RRA) project, initiated the platform.
He disclosed that the platform would be meeting on quarterly basis to discuss issues affecting agriculture, with a view to finding solutions to the problems identified.
According to him, the platform will use an approach that is locally owned and aligned with regional goals, and market driving with projects by the private sector and rooted in viable business cases, among others.
Similarly, Dr Ali Mustapha, Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture, Borno State and chairman of the platform, described the platform as a welcome development for the region.
According to him, the platform has already identified some challenges affecting farmers in the region, and one of such is the banning of importation of fertiliser to the region.
He added that the platform would do everything possible to sensitise farmers on applying liquid fertiliser for good yield.
Mustapha said that the importance of food production could not be over emphasised.
“A hungry man is an angry man, so in order to eat in absolute peace and create jobs, we have to pay special attention to the agricultural sector,” he said.
In their separate remarks, Alhaji Usman Daware and Dr Mario Amshi, commissioners of ministries of agriculture in Adamawa and Yobe states respectively, appreciated Synergos for initiating the platform for the development of agriculture in the region.
They said that the initiative was timely and gave assurance of their individual governments readiness for continued partnership for the success of farmers in the region.
NAN reports that other members of the platform included commissioners and permanent secretaries in ministries of agriculture drawn from Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe, as well as one other stakeholder each from the states. (NAN)