Jigawa Collaborates with IITA on Agricultural Innovation and Technology

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The Jigawa State Government is cooperating with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) aimed at leveraging agricultural innovation and technology to transform the agricultural landscape in Jigawa State.

This was made known when an IITA delegation led by Ms. Aline Mugisho, Executive Manager of the IITA’s I-Youth Project, paid a courtesy call to Governor Mallam Umar Namadi at the Government House in Dutse.

While making her remarks, Ms. Mugisho highlighted IITA’s extensive experience in Africa’s agriculture, spanning over 50 years, and its operations in 134 countries. She emphasized the need to rethink existing agricultural practices and technologies to address challenges faced by farmers across various ecological zones.

The leader of the IITA’s delegation recognized the critical importance of empowering young Nigerians and enhancing their interest in agriculture through technology-driven solutions.

“We believe in the potential of Nigerian youth and the transformative power of education,” she said. “Our initiatives have already created over 52,000 direct jobs and benefited over 200,000 individuals. Now, we are committed to making Jigawa a center of excellence in agricultural development.”

Governor Mallam Umar Namadi expressed enthusiasm for the corporation, recognizing agriculture’s role as a primary employer in Nigeria.

He stressed the alignment of IITA’s new approach with Jigawa State’s 12-point development agenda while emphasizing the need to embrace agriculture as a viable business opportunity for youth.

He said the collaboration with IITA resonates deeply with his administration’s focus on agricultural development, saying that by strengthening the agricultural value chain, the state can significantly reduce unemployment, boost the economy, and promote self-sufficiency.

He highlighted Jigawa’s ongoing efforts in skills development, with over 4,000 youths trained in various skills within the past year. Additionally, the state is enhancing agricultural training through dedicated institutions and reviewing policies to promote agriculture as a profitable venture.

“We have seven functional skills acquisition centers in Jigawa State. In the last year, we have been able to train more than 4,000 youths in different skills, and they are now within their societies, etching out a living for themselves and their families. We also have three agricultural training institutions where we train our youths in various agricultural skills,” he said.

“Currently, we are reviewing our agricultural policy with the support of FCDO, and the objective is to ensure that agriculture should be seen as a business. And we are working along that path, convincing our youths that agriculture is no longer a subsistence issue; it is now a business where you can earn a living. This made us come out with so many programs that we involve our youths.”

“We are implementing cluster farming systems to engage our youth effectively and develop the entire agricultural value chain,” Governor Namadi added.

The cooperation between Jigawa State and IITA signifies an essential step towards harnessing innovation and technology to drive sustainable agricultural growth, create employment opportunities, and empower young people in the agricultural sector.

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