N/Assembly Panel Seeks Food Sufficiency, Security

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The Joint Senate and the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions have tasked agricultural institutions around the country to work towards food sufficiency and security.

The Joint Committee, chaired by Senator Adegbomire Ayodele and Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, made the call during its budget defence session with some agencies and institutions under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday.

Some of the institutions whose chief executive officers appeared before the joint panel included the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike; Federal College of Education, Ishiagu; and Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan among others.

Speaking at the session, the Chairman of the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Adeyemi said all hands must be on deck to ensure food security.

“On behalf of my co-chairman, the deputies, and members of both committees, I welcome you to the pivotal 2024 budget defence for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

“Our nation’s prosperity is deeply rooted in the fertile soil of agricultural development, making this budgetary deliberation of the utmost importance.

“In our pursuit of sustainable food security, it is imperative that we allocate resources judiciously to empower our agricultural institutions and colleges. These institutions are the bedrock of knowledge and innovation, fostering the growth of a resilient and modern agricultural sector, ” he said.

According to Adeyemi, there should be strategic investments to enhance research and development, facilitate technology transfer to farmers, and promote the adoption of best practices.

He said their commitment to agricultural education should be reflected in funding allocations that equip institutions to produce skilled professionals capable of navigating the evolving challenges in the agricultural landscape.

Adeyemi said they would prioritize initiatives that address the pressing issues of climate change, promote sustainable farming practices, and bolster the resilience of agricultural communities.

He added that the success of agricultural endeavours is intertwined with the well-being of farmers, and they must ensure that budgetary decisions uplift and support those who toil in the fields.

The joint committee also frowned at the lopsided employment in some of the institutions.

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