The Emir of Gwandu in Kebbi, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar, has called for sustained investment in agriculture to diversify the nation’s economy.
The emir said this on Friday at a workshop organised by the Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero on the control of diseases affecting Cassava.
The workshop with the theme, “Symptoms identification and control of Cassava mosaic and brown streak disease,” was jointly organised with Mikochemi Agriculture Resource Institute in Tanzania.
Bashar, who was represented by the Wazirin Gwandu, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, said agriculture offers viable alternative to oil, which Nigeria heavily depends on.
The emir stressed that apart from ensuring food security, agriculture has huge potentials of significantly reducing unemployment and restiveness in the country.
He therefore said that all levels of government must create the needed atmosphere to encourage massive investment in the sector, for the rapid economic growth and development of the country.
Bashar commended the institutions for organising the workshop, saying that it would educate farmers on modern techniques to boost Cassava production.
A resource person at the workshop, Prof. Bello Malami, also said that advancement of agriculture would provide alternative options to Nigeria’s over dependence on oil.
Another resource person from Tanzania, Prof Joseph Ndunguru, said the workshop was aimed at finding solutions to diseases limiting expansion in Cassava farming.
He said that the diseases affecting Cassava were complex, and noted that the crop was mostly affected by nine species of virus, transmitted by insects and white flies.
NAN reports that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also supported the workshop as part of efforts to boost Cassava farming.(NAN)