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Obasanjo to chair 2016 LAPO annual development forum

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo will on October 18, lead packs of Nigeria ministers, personalities in the agricultural sector and financial institutions to the 2016 Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) annual development forum.

BusinessDay reports that the 23rd annual forum of the organisation is slated to take place at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja.

A statement signed by Sabina Idowu-Osehobo, executive director of the organisation, and made available to BusinessDay in Benin City, notes that the former President will chair the event.

Osehobo also says that Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture and rural development, and Osagie Ehanire, minister of state for health, are special guest of honour and guest of honour, respectively.

She says the forum has as its theme, ‘Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities.’

Keynote address will be delivered by Nteranya Sanginga, director-general, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), while Valentine Aletor, a professor of Agriculture Biochemistry and Nutrition and pioneer vice chancellor, Elizade University, Ondo State, and Clement O.Illoh, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

The LAPO executive director posits that the 22nd edition with the theme, ‘Women Entrepreneurship Development: Issues, Opportunities and Approaches’ was chaired by Yakubu Gowon, former head of state of Nigeria.

She enumerates the objectives of the forum as to increase knowledge on food security and sustainable agriculture in Nigeria, provide farmers and agro-business owners with access to funding opportunities, provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, development partners, academia, policy makers and other stakeholders to interact on a sustainable agriculture in Nigeria.

According to Osehobo, over the years, food insecurity has become a critical issue in Nigeria, and that the nation’s agricultural development has been on a downward spiral.

She further discloses that World Bank data reveal that about 90 percent of Nigeria’s agricultural output comes from inefficient small farms, and that most farmers cannot even produce enough food to feed their own families.

While pointing out that the UNICEF statistics put the country’s food insecure population at about 65 percent, however laments that various government agricultural programmes targeted at the poor farmers have not brought about the much-trumpeted agricultural revolution.

She believes most of the programmes have served as conduit pipes for government officials to siphon public funds and stash them away in foreign countries.



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This post was syndicated from BusinessDay : News you can trust. Click here to read the full text on the original website.


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