Agriculture: Stakeholders to encourage local production of equipment

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Stakeholders in the Engineering Sector have embarked on measures to encourage local production of equipment for the development of the agricultural sector of the country.
An agreement on this effort was reached on Friday at the induction of new members of engineers/award night at the 2022 Engineering Week and Annual General Meeting of the association.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by the Bwari Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
President of NSE, Mr Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, stated that the organisaion would from henceforth, begin to encourage engineers to produce more of indigenous equipment for total development of the agriculture sector.
He acknowledged that enough food production for the country would bring about development, and make the country achieve its aim of sufficiency, adding that the engineers would contribute to help realise the dream.
He said that the engineers were also willing to teach the farmers who might not be conversant with handling or use of some equipment that would be produced.
According to Gidari-Wudil, it is clear that Nigeria is walking towards a mechanised farming and that the engineers are also willing to help achieve the laudable dream.
“For those who are not knowledgeable on how to use this equipment who are farmers, we have planned to teach them both at the state and federal levels through the extension services.
“This will go a long way in teaching and helping to get information from the farmers on how to improve on such equipment.
“We have Institute of Agricultural Engineers, we have Nigeria Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Nigeria Institution of Chemical Engineers, all these institutions will help to build the agricultural sector.
“Our members have developed prototype of these equipment and some of them are in the market, these equipment are there, some people use them but they don’t know they are manufactured in Nigeria.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has institutions where these equipment are fabricated, all we need to do is to look inward and support the local content of the production,” Gidari-Wudil said.
Also, the Minister of Agriculture who was an award recipient, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, stated that there were enough engineers, particularly at the ministry, to drive on Nigeria’s aspirations for food sufficiency.
According to him, it is only ministry of works and housing that can match agricultural ministry in terms of engineers.
He said part of the purpose of the programme was to encourage and make sure engineers at home manufactured some of the equipment needed in the country as quickly as possible.
He said there was no need to import some of them, but to talk to the engineers if they could fabricate some of the hardwares and work towards the production.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to make sure we have enough equipment, because mechanised farming is involved right now in the plan of the country.
“A country of over 200 million and still growing, we need to go into mechanised farming and we must do it fast and the only way to do it is to use our own indigenous engineers,” he said.
President of NSE, Bwari Branch, Dr Halimat Adediran, stated that the branch had organised several technical workshops to encourage the engineers.
She said that the branch had modestly contributed to the Federal Government’s desire to deversify the country’s economy in the post COVID-19 era by providing a platform for a robust discourse and interraction between policy makers, investors and other stakeholders.
She expressed her gratitude to the minister of agriculture for collaborating with the branch to organise the AGM.
According to her, the engineering sector of the economy has the capacity of becoming a key engine to drive the economic development of the country. (NAN)

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