By: Bamidele Fashube
The National Committee of Heads of Colleges of Agriculture and Related Disciplines (NACHCARD) has tasked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on empowerment of graduates of Agriculture and Related Disciplines through its various intervention programmes.
It said this will be of immense impact in agricultural development and in ensuring food security in the country.
This was contained in a Communique issued at the end of the 59th meeting of the National Committee of The Heads of Colleges of Agriculture and Related Disciplines (NACHCARD) held in Abuja and signed by Dr Egbenya Shaibu-Imodagbe and Dr Oluyemi Akande, on behalf of the Communique Drafting Committee.
“NACHCARD observed that much impact will be created if graduates from Colleges of Agriculture & Related Disciplines are empowered through the CBN driven agricultural intervention programmes such as anchor borrowers to accelerate achievements of food security and diversification of the economy,” it said.
It stressed the need to ensure that graduates are integrated into government policies and programmes and called for synergy in the activities and collaboration between the Colleges, Research Institutes, ARCN and the Ministry in the area of training and capacity building.
The committee commended the Federal Government’s efforts in evolving policies for the improvement of agricultural sector development in Nigeria.
It said the policies include, the establishment of outreach centres in some Federal Colleges of Agriculture, development of a model for the creation of entrepreneurship development centers in Colleges of Agriculture.
“Others are the review of the scheme and conditions of service for Agricultural Research Institutes and Colleges of Agriculture in Nigeria, support from the Ministry in collaboration with international donor agencies for the improvement of the agricultural research system in Nigeria,”it added.
It further noted that the re-reinstatement of overhead budgets of the Colleges has lessened the hardships in the running of these Colleges.
To this end the Communique urged Colleges of Agriculture and Related Disciplines to strengthen their internally generated revenue by establishing consultancy services in addition to entrepreneurship development centres.