The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure is collaborating with three countries to revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna.
The EVC spoke when the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, visited the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
According to Haruna, the collaboration with Italy, Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan and Czech Republic was in line with the Federal Government’s policy on food security.
He said the three countries will offer technical assistance to the six newly-established AMEDI in the country.
The institutes are in Nasarawa State (North Central), Adamawa (North East), Kebbi (North West), Cross River (South South), Imo (South East) and Osun (South West).
President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the establishment of the institutes in 2021.
Haruna said the Federal Government’s focus was to move Nigeria from subsistence farming to more sophisticated ways of farming to ensure food security.
He said: “NASENI is collaborating with partners from Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan, Czech republic and Italy to equip this institute and the other five Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute with state of the earth research and manufacturing facilities targeting the best and the highest technology in the world.
“All these are made possible by the grace of God and the deliberate priority of agriculture by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“With these developments, all that is needed for modern farming, food processing, packaging and preservation will be locally produced by NASENI.”
Haruna said the essence of establishing the institute was for application of new technology to agriculture.
He added: The Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2021 are not only to guaranty food security, but to apply modern tools and equipment for mechanised agriculture and technology for food processing, food preservation and application of food availability and artificial intelligence for efficient and multi-crop seasons.
“NASENI is among the best legacies that President Buhari will be bequeathing to the next and subsequent administration in Nigeria.”
Haruna said AMEDI in Lafia will be completed in January 2023.
He said: “The Chief of Staff may recall that foundation laying ceremony was performed on your behalf on 1st of August, 2022 for the construction work and this is the level of work in three months duration.
“Although, the volume of rain in September to October has affected the speed of the construction work, we have been able to fence the 20 hectares of land and constructed gatehouse, the administrative block and the two roads network is in progress.
“Some of the needed machines are in the warehouse.
“We will, God willing, be ready for the commissioning of the institute in Lafia in January 2023.”
Haruna thanked Gambari for his “steadfastness, wisdom, astuteness, patriotism, commitment, articulation, mentorship and love for Nigeria and faithfulness in supporting President Muhammadu Buhari”.
Gambari, who was in the state to assess the level of work done on the project site of the institute for the North Central, said AMEDI will provide for the export of Nigerian agricultural products.
He said: “We want to commend the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure for bringing into reality the concept which the Buhari administration approved for this institute sited in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“We want to commend in particular the leadership of the NASENI for the commitment which we have seen in the foundation that by God’s grace, in January or February next year, this will be inaugurated.
“I promise to report back to Mr. President the enormous steps that have been taken to realise one of his key priorities of his administration.”