The delegates and the Conference Organizing Committee (COC) of PASAE-NIAE 2020 International Conference led by the COC Chairman, Prof. Micheal Faborode, former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on Thursday 5th March, 2020 paid a visit to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Muhammad Sabo Nanono in Abuja.
The purpose of the visit was to brief the Minister on the up-coming joint conference of the Afro AgEng the Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineering (PASAE) and the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE) focused on “Agro-industrialization of African Agriculture. This is in line with the African Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”. They also intimated the honourable minister that both AfDB and AFREXIM Bank are sponsors with special sessions dedicated to SAPZ and AFCFTA.
President Kagame of Rwanda is expected to Chair the opening ceremony on 22nd September, of which the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina will give the Conference Keynote. Six high-level Workshops and Master Classes to serve as Continuous Professional Development Opportunities for our Engineers will take The-Center Stage on Monday 21st September 2020.
The delegates pledged their readiness to support the laudable initiatives of the Ministry to boost farmers’ productivity and bring the youths back into farming.
In his address, the Minister welcomed the idea of the conference as being very apt, timely and well planned, pledging his personal support and that of the entire Ministry. He enumerated three imperatives on which the Ministry is focusing to lift Nigeria’s Agro Productivity, Agro Industrialization and Job Creation as:
1. Appropriate and Private Sector-led Mechanization, for which not less than 10,000 tractors will be acquired to support farming input centers in 732 LGAs and 138 agro-processing centers.
2. Provision of good viable seeds and cultivars, which requires research support
3. Effective extension service.
The Minister admonished the Institution of Agricultural Engineers to collaborate with Government to provide effective frameworks to make the new initiatives successful.
Prof. Faborode subsequently commended the Minister for his vision and forthrightness and assured that launching an NIAE Agricultural Engineering Transformation Roadmap will be one of the highlights of the conference Opening in September. That all hands of members of the NIAE are on deck to achieve Food Security and Agro-Industrial Nigeria. There is no doubt the upcoming conference will be a watershed for Agriculture in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.