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April 14, 2024

‘Support Us For Food Production, Don’t Lease our Land to Third Parties’, Colleges of Agriculture Tells FG

The National Committee of Heads of Colleges of Agriculture and Related Disciplines (NACHCARD) has urged the federal government to reconsider its plan of leasing lands  within their institutions to third parties for food production, saying the government should allocate funds and inputs to colleges to produce food.

During its 65th Regular Meeting in Abuja, the committee expressed appreciation for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s inquiry into available land for food production in colleges.

The committee stressed the importance of the ministry allocating funds and inputs to the colleges, discouraging the leasing of lands to third parties to avoid potential encroachment by land grabbers. Additionally, NACHCARD recommended that FMAFS utilize and support the colleges for agricultural training and the implementation of farmers’ and extension workers’ programs..

The communiqué read, “We observed with dismay the reduction in students’ intake into colleges of agriculture recently as a result of lowering of JAMB cutoffs for universities and the increasing number of polytechnics mounting agricultural courses.”

”The committee is of the opinion that if the trend continues, it would not only undermine the basis for creating the colleges in the first place but also jeopardise the government’s efforts at encouraging youths to take up agriculture as a business, as well as the food security efforts of the government.

The committee also called on the government to inaugurate the board of NADFUND for speedy operational commencement to enhance the effectiveness of the emergency declared on food security.

It also advocated that agricultural colleges at federal and state levels be given top priority in fund allocation as these colleges were erroneously excluded from tertiary institutions enjoying TetFund intervention since 2010.

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