The Kwara State Government is collaborating with Cornell University, New York, to develop a five-year agricultural master plan to establish the state as the hub of agriculture in the West African sub-region.
The state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, disclosed this on Wednesday while inaugurating the Kwara Agriculture Modernisation Plan Team at the Government House, Ilorin.
The committee, which comprises Professors Ronnie Coffman, Peter Gregory, and Harold Van Es, from Cornell University as well as Professor Funsho Oluleye, Professor M. A Bilewu, Professor Rasheed Na’Allah, and Dr. Fatimo Adekola, is mandated to design a five-year master plan for the Kwara State Agric-City Project, whose objective is to position the state as the prime destination for agriculture and agro-allied business in the sub-region.
Ahmed, who described the initiative as another giant stride by his administration to evolve an agro-driven economy for the state, Nigeria and the West African sub-region, assured the committee of government’s political will and determination to implement the blueprint when completed.
The master plan, the vovernor said, was imperative in view of the state government’s desire to drive the economy through agriculture, adding that this can only be actualised by adopting modern agricultural best practices.
Ahmed said that when implemented, the masterplan will generate youth jobs and wealth creation, improve the state’s agricultural and agro-industry infrastructure and raise agricultural output to enhance economic and food security of the people of Kwara State and indeed Nigeria.
Kwara State, according to him, is endowed with human and natural resources, which need be properly harnessed through adequate planning in order to achieve food security.
The governor, who noted that contemporary observers of the global trend recognise the fact that Nigeria is increasingly relying on imported food at the expense of what it is capable of producing due to her good climatic condition, stressed the need to use this comparative advantage in developing agriculture to support the global demand for food.