The Deputy Governor of Kano state, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, has blamed Nigeria’s over dependence on crude oil as the major foreign exchange earner for the disappearance of groundnut pyramids from Kano and subsequent decline in agricultural activities across the dryland areas of the north.
He stated this in Kano on Tuesday while declaring open a 3-day international conference with the theme “Resource constraints, conflicts and changing climate in the Drylands: options for attaining SDGs” co-organized by the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Bayero University Kano to fathom out ways in addressing emerging agricultural challenges in the West African drylands.
“The groundnut pyramids and truck loads of cowpeas were the mainstay of Kano state contributing in the Nigerian economy before the advent of petroleum. With the advent of crude oil in Nigeria agriculture has witnessed a decline while poverty and hunger remain critical developmental challenges.
“Our farming is still characterized by subsistent small holding of less than one hectare with a low quality input, low technology level and low improve seeds adoption among others.
Gawuna said the government is aware of numerous challenges rural farmers are facing across the country.
He emphasised that the government is committed not only to regain the past glory of agricultural excellence in the country, but also to move agriculture from subsistence to commercial enterprises.
He described the theme of the conference as apt and timely stressing that emerging issues such as conflicts among resource users including farmers and pastoralists, insufficient/poor grazing reserves and the devastating effect of climate change should be critically looked into and mitigation methods recommended.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello further challenged the resource persons at the conference to seek solutions or give insights into understanding serious challenges posed by climate change, competion for natural resources and conflicts in dryland areas.
Source: Daily Trust