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Zimbabwean defence college students on study tour of Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria - Zimbabwean National Defence College students arrived here Monday on a study tour of the nation’s food security programme and understand the pivotal role food security play in ensuring Nigeria’s security.

Towards this end, members of the College Tuesday paid a courtesy visit on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

The Commandant General of the Defence College, Air Vice Marshal Michael Moyo, said that given the security challenges the nation is facing, Nigeria, among other countries, was chosen to create a learning platform for them to understand the role government institutions play in enhancing national security.

According to Air Vice Marshal Moyo, “we are here to understudy how Nigerian institutions contribute to national security, especially the role they play in agriculture, food security, energy among others. We wish to learn from our big brother. And with all the infrastructures I have seen in the capital city, I know the choice of Nigeria is not a bad one.”

Nigerian Minister of State for Agriculture, Hajiya Asabe Ahmed, noted the role the government is playing in guaranteeing food security for the citizenry, saying that “once the food security situation is gotten right, then the security of the nation is certain.”

To enhance national security through agriculture, Ahmed disclosed that the ministry has embarked on massive employment of youths into the sector and introduction of farm mechanisation, thereby making agriculture more attractive.

She added that “government has embarked on dry season farming, engaging idle youth in food production and are taking their attention away from fomenting trouble.”

The Nigerian Minister appealed to Zimbabweans to look beyond national security and work towards partnership with Nigeria towards the goal of boosting agriculture and ensuring food security in Africa.

Hajia Ahmed told the Zimbabwean military delegation that last year, 10 States of the Nigerian federation participated in the dry season farming while in this year’s dry season farming, 24 States are participating.

Nigeria, she said, has made giant strides in its Growth Enhancement Scheme as in 2012, five million farmers were registered while 1.2million of the farmers were able to receive their fertilizer and seeds through mobile phones. In 2013, 10million farmers were registered and 6.2million got their farm input through their telephones.

Nigeria, Hajia Ahmed noted, is ready to transfer its knowledge and share its success story with other African countries so as to develop agriculture in the continent.

Pana 19/03/2014