THE Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD has reiterated its commitment to strengthen its existing partnership with the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO),- an international Inter- Government Organisation formed in Cairo, Egypt in 1962.
The Minister of State Senator Heineken Lokpobiri gave the assurance in Abuja while receiving the delegation of AARDO lead by His Excellency Wassfi El-Sreihin – the Secretary-General of the Organisation.
He pledged Nigerian support and close collaboration with AARDO in order to ensure the attainment of the Organisation’s objectives in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
”The challenges facing Africa in rural development is the inability for African countries to embrace technology like other agriculturally developed countries in the world, We are convinced that furtherance of our partnership with AARDO will provide necessary skills and training that will promote modern agriculture in Nigeria”.
The Minister of State also made a plea that “priority should be given to rural development in order to trigger rapid development in Nigeria”, adding that “there is no amount of money invested in rural development that is too much in order to derive accruing huge benefits”.
He appreciated the role of the Organisation in promoting capacity building, technical and financial support for pilot projects in member countries, and training of Nigerians in rural development and its management.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Burka Hassan in his remark said the majority of farmers are domiciled in rural areas and that agricultural development cannot be successful without providing modern training I agriculture to these farmers in our rural areas
He also disclosed to the delegation that the agenda of the present administration is to drive the agricultural sector in such a modern manner in order to increase food production and the attainment of national food security.
The AARDO Secretary-General – His Excellency Wassfi El-Sreihin, explained that the key interest and priority areas of the Organisation include poverty alleviation, sustainable agricultural development and community empowerment; adding that the Organisation has trained 161 Nigerian personnel including graduates and undergraduates since 1999 when the country joined the Organisation and pledge to do more.