Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue, has promised sufficient security for farmers in order to boost agricultural activities in the state.
Alia made the promise at the opening ceremony of the First National Agricultural Mechanization and Innovations Summit on Friday in Makurdi.
The governor lamented that insecurity was one of the major challenges facing agribusiness in the state, stressing that it must be tackled head on for agricultural activities to thrive.
He further listed some of the challenges facing agribusiness in the state as inadequate infrastructure and lack of access to finance.
He added that inadequate extension services, low adoption of technology and climate change were seriously hampering food security.
“As a deliberate policy, we will make greater investment in infrastructural development and ensure sufficient security for farmers.
“We will also foster favourable conditions for financial access.
“Through appropriate authorities we will ensure that farmers are continually educated on adoption of improved farming methods and technologies,” Alia said.
He emphasized that the summit was a game changer for the state, advising that all stakeholders in agribusiness to key into it for their overall good and that of the state.
Also, the Coordinator of the summit, Mr Fidelis Unongo, disclosed that the focus of the summit was on harnessing the potentials of women and youth who were the backbone of the society.
Unongo further said that women form a substantial portion of the state workforce, yet their contributions are often overlooked, stressing that they must empower women farmers, agro-processors and fabricators by providing them with the necessary skills, technologies, and resources to enhance their productivity.
“By doing so, we, not only uplift our women, but also boost agricultural output and ultimately, the local economy of the state.
“The youth too represent the future of agriculture. They possess the energy, creativity and drive that can revolutionize the agricultural sector.
“It is imperative that we create an enabling environment for the youth to engage in agriculture. This includes promoting modern agricultural techniques, introducing them to cutting-edge technologies, and facilitating access to finance and markets,” Unongo said.
Our correspondent reports that the theme of the summit was promoting small-scale agricultural technologies to foster local economic development through innovative agricultural solutions.