The Nigerian vision of becoming one of the twenty largest economies in the world by the year 2020 is only achievable when Agriculture, through the required innovation and technology is fully integrated into our development plan.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu said this during a one-day technical meeting on Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) in Agricultural Sector on rice production held on Thursday May 2, 2019 in Abuja.
According to Bitrus Bako, The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is one of the most strategic Ministry of Government saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the development and deployment of science, technology and innovation (STI) which has enhance the pace of socio-economic development of the country.
Nabasu noted that rice has increasingly become a major staple food for Nigerians, while the local rice in the country has bridged the gap created by ban on imported rice.
According to Mr.Bako, the prevailing conditions in Nigeria with over 180 million people with an estimated population of 70% living in the rural areas has necessitated the need to encourage rice producers to increase their output so as to meet domestic demands and export the excesses.
He stressed the need for the country to accord high priority to Agriculture if it must take it rightful place in the comity of nation, hence the Technology Needs Assessment in Agricultural sector on rice production is identified as a crucial instrument to systematically facilitate the technology acquisition, adoption, diffusion and transfer.
The Permanent Secretary noted that Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) on the baseline study on the various technology in use for rice production value chain raging from land preparation, planting of seeds, herbicide/weeding, harvesting, transportation, per boiling,drying,milling/de-stoning, bagging/sewing, marketing is crucial for the proper integration of agriculture in our national development .
‘’Technology needs assessment in the Agricultural sector on rice production arises because of the need to establish the data of available technologies operational in the rural areas where rice is grown to assess the technologies in used needed to upgrade the rice production processing activities and to determine appropriate technologies that could adapted.’’ He added.
For (DD Press)
May 2, 2019.