NAFN seeks NOTAP partnership for agricultural development
The National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) has sought to partner with the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in order to contribute effectively to the growth of Nigeria’s economy through value-chain approach to agricultural development. The request for partnership was made by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of NAFN, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, represented by the National coordinator, Dr. Samuel Negedu, during a courtesy visit to NOTAP by members of the BOT.
Senator Adamu said that NOTAP was strategically positioned to partner with NAFN in organizing better annual National Agricultural shows as well as planning and implementing effective training and capacity building programmes for farmers and stakeholders which he described as the missing gap in efforts at agricultural development.
He further said that the Annual Agricultural Show as successfully institutionalized in 2008 with the incorporation of the foundation as an NGO which had the mandate to organize the annual National Agricultural Shows, provide policy and technical support as well as consultancy and capacity development services to the sector in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and development partners.
According to him, six agricultural shows for the promotion of locally made products had been held since 2007 but regretted that the programme had been discontinued with the introduction of trade fairs which mainly encouraged the importation and display of products from China and other foreign countries. He added “NOTAP can partner with us to build capacity in the agricultural sector and help in the return of the annual agricultural shows.”
In his response, the Director General of NOTAP, Engr. Umar Bindir said NAFN was a natural partner to the agency and commended initiative of members of the BOT to bring the partnership into reality through their visit.
The Director General said that NOTAP was established to among other things, track the flow of technology into the country and by so doing ensure fairness, equity and knowledge transfer in the technology acquisition process.
He stated that if made in Nigeria goods had the right quality and were better priced in comparison to imported ones from China, they would attract patronage. “But this has not been so because many Nigerian manufacturers do not collaborate with the National Science and Technology System and by implication, there is little or no use of local Research and Development (R&D) results in manufacturing despite the 128 universities and other tertiary and research institutions in Nigeria.
Commenting further on the quest for agricultural development, Engr. Bindir said stakeholders had dwelt too much on the production of raw materials rather than deploying technology to agriculture in order to benefit from the attendant value chain. He added that technology must penetrate the agricultural sector for it to become entrepreneurial.
He explained that milk came from cows and that cows mostly ate grass and grains to be productive adding that ‘we have cows, grass and grains but we don’t have milk because we have not deployed the required technology to generate employment, produce milk and create wealth.’