20 November 2012

Nigeria: Kwara Inaugurates Committee On Agriculture Master Plan

An 11-man committee to implement the Kwara State Agriculture Master Plan (KAMP) has been inaugurated by the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, with a charge to work diligently to ensure the aims of food security and agro-driven economic prosperity are achieved within stated timelines.

Inaugurating the committee in Ilorin, Ahmed, who is also its chairman, said KAMP, a five-year plan developed in partnership with Cornell University, New York, University of Ilorin and Kwara State University, is a carefully articulated plan for making Kwara the agricultural hub in the West African sub-region.

"Having pioneered successful commercial agriculture in the previous administration, we are moving a step further with KAMP through a partnership among the academia, the private sector, farmers and government. We decided to benchmark against best practices globally which led to us to sign an MoU with Cornell last July, the first by a sub-national anywhere in the world", he said, stressing his belief that agriculture can be the mainstay on the Nigerian economy if planned and implemented as outlined in KAMP.

While pledging to provide the committee with all support necessary for the successful implementation of its mandate, Governor Ahmed said members had been carefully chosen based on their track-record and capacity to make valuable contributions to the successful implementation of KAMP and urged them to be diligent in their work as the agriculture is the fulcrum of the state's economic plans as enshrined in Shared Prosperity.

He said that with KAMP, the state will be leading the way in agriculture reforms but with an emphasis on partnership with critical stakeholders such as the academia, effective planning and an embedded mechanism for Monitoring and Evaluation.

Speaking earlier, Secretary to the State Government and Deputy Chairman of the Committee, pledged that members will justify the confidence reposed in them by the government by approaching their assignment with high levels of commitment and effort to ensure that the positive outcomes anticipated by KAMP are achieved within the stipulated timelines.

The KAMP committee's terms of reference, according Ahmed's Senior Special Assistant, Investment Policy and Strategy, Abayomi Ogunshola, are to develop a general framework to achieve the overall goals of KAMP and develop a specific work scope for each milestone.

Others are to develop a financing strategy for the achievement of targets with the private sector, donor agencies, venture capital and private equity firms whilst the government ensures that the enabling environment is put in place at all time to support the private sector investments.

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