Honourable Princess Gloria Akobundu, NC/CEO of AUDA-NEPAD/APRM, Nigeria has said Government is doing its best to alleviate poverty in the country, but with a population of more than 200million people and over 60% of this falling within the youth bracket, there’s real danger of communities being exposed to insecurity, youth restiveness and malnutrition except deliberate measures are put in place to forestall their occurrence.
Akobundu stated this in her remark at the opening ceremony of a 3-day National workshop on “applications of Juncao technology and its contribution to the achievement of sustainable agriculture and the sustainable development goals in Nigeria” held in Abuja.
In her view, one way of addressing poverty in the country is to domesticate the Juncao technology in Nigeria, adding that the technology will create direct and indirect jobs; promote Agro Business, enhance nutrition; curb youth restiveness, boost security as youths will be gainfully engaged; add value to the economy and grow the Gross Domestic Product.
Akobundu said the country can move closer to the goal of attaining Zero Hunger (Sustainable Development Goals 2) if it explore new options like the Juncao technology. The technology will contribute greatly to the achievement of UN agenda 2030 and AU Agenda 2063 and will also help to ensure that smallholder farmers, rural women and youth have sustainable livelihoods and decent employment for poverty eradication and food sufficiency.
Akobundu said the AUDA-NEPAD/APRM as a National Focal Agency for the Juncao project will work closely with the public and private sectors and all relevant stakeholders both at the National and Sub-National levels in ensuring that the goals of the project are achieved.
Speaking at the capacity of the Agency to help spread the Juncoa Technology across the states of the Federation, Akobundu said the Agency has proper structures put in place which include 37 State Coordinators and 774 Local Government Focal Point Officers. She said the Agency is concerned with ensuring food security in the country and to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic as well as build long-term resilience for sustainable economic growth and development.
The NC/CEO also added that the Agency’s innovative strengthening of smallholder farmers’ capabilities towards productive land restoration amid covid-19 was initiated to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic, noting that Agriculture and food production are important facets of the Nigerian economy, accounting for a significant proportion of total employment in the nation and also the main source of livelihood for most people.
She called on participants at the workshop to take advantage of the lectures and improve themselves and apply the knowledge gained for both self and National interest.