Agriculture Transformation To End Insurgency, Poverty In Borno – Shettima

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has accorded “top most
priority” to the Agricultural Transformation Programme (TAP) to end
and fight Boko Haram insurgency and poverty in the state.
Shettima made the declarations on Friday in his address of
participants at the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum (NZEHF) in Maiduguri.
He said the state government had initiated various programmes to fast
track farmer support services; sensitize agricultural mechanization,
processing and farmer-entreprepreneurship to increase value chains.
His words: “These TAP programmes were also designed to add value and
provide markets for farm produce; as well as to guarantee food
security and wealth creation in the state.
“In the pre-insurgency era, we were the major producers of cereal
crops, livestock and fisheries and people enjoyed a prosperous life.
He lamented that prior to Boko Haram insurgency in 2009; the state was
one of the major producers of crops, livestock and fish in the
country.
On root cause of insurgency and terrorism, Shettima said: “Poverty is
one of the root causes of insurgency and we are geared to fight
poverty through effective utilization of agriculture and water
resources that abound in Lake Chad and its basin.
“We invested much in agriculture. Agriculture transformation is a
struggle that we must fight and we must win that war to end this
ongoing insurgency.”
He said the state government was collaborating with the Federal
Government, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food
Programme (WFP) and development organizations to reinvigorate
agriculture to fight hunger and provide means of livelihood to
millions of persons displaced by Boko Haram.
Shettima commended former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for the Zero
Hunger initiative which could go a long way in encouraging food
production to eliminate hunger and malnutrition among the people.
Obasanjo, who is the initiator and Chairman of Zero Hunger Programme
said the forum was aimed at accelerating food production, empowering
youth and women.
“The Zero Hunger; 2025, is to fast track improvements of social and
economic wellbeing of our people in Nigerian and other African
countries,” said Obasanjo.
He further disclosed that the zero hunger programmes was part of the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) programme, which should be pursued
with vigour and seriousness.
Poverty, according to him, was the root cause of Boko Haram insurgency.
He disclosed that; “Only one out of the 26 Boko Haram insurgents
interviewed submitted that he joined the sect because of Islam.”
He noted that the remaining 25 insurgents joined Islamists sect due to
poverty and idleness that breed the devil’s workshop.
The former President also applauded Governor Shettima’s  Agricultural
Transformation Programme (TAP).
Dr Kenton Dasheil, The Deputy Director, Partnership for Delivery,
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Kenton
Dasheil said the institute would support the programmes to achieve
Sustainable Agricultural Development (SAD) in the country.
The Maiduguri two-day zero hunger forum was attended by the Minister
of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbe, who was represented by Obinna Okpara, a
Director.
Others that participated at the forum, include the FAO country
representative for Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, as well as country
directors of World Food Programme (WFP), Myrata Kaulard and deputy
governors of Ogun, Ebonyi states, Yetunde Onanuga and Kelechi Igwe.

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