By: Odo Dennis, Abuja
An international Non-Profit Organisation, Synergos Nigeria, has advocated peaceful coexistence among every ethnicity in the country is vital to promoting food production and realizing the Federal Government food sufficiency target.
Synergos Country Director, Mr. Adewale Ajadi, disclosed this at a Diversity Dialogue organized by Synergos Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the NGO has commenced work for the evolution of an inclusive economy in Nigeria, through increased youth involvement in agriculture to boost agricultural productivity.
Among other factors militating against the sector, he identified persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, describing it as a struggle over limited resources.
Climate change impact and severe weather conditions are other challenges he listed as confronting the sector.
His word: “We have large challenges: intra-communal conflicts that include farmers and herdsmen, the resources conflict, resulting from climate change and drastic weather transitions and the greater pressure resulting from scarce water sources. In Kaduna, Kogi and Benue states where we work on agriculture systems, there have been sparks and conflicts, with lives lost.”
He added that, “Diversity is simply the reflection of the humanity; all different, yet the same. It relates to our identities, gender, dispositions, aspirations and epistemology, among others.
“We can use diversity to actively cooperate and collaborate towards a more effective as well as healthy society.
Ajadi listed the principles that would guide and drive an effective conversation about diversity as passion for people, principle-centred leadership, open minds, and platinum rules.
“The larger issue of our diversity is defining the principles of diversity, guiding the framework of our relationship as a country that is aspiring to become a nation. This is true in all areas of life and most especially in agriculture, where most Nigerians are employed and have engaged in through generations.”
“Some good practices towards exploring diversity will include recognising that we all hold prejudices and it is natural to stereotype but bigotry is a learnt behaviour that becomes a habit and crystallises into identity.’’