The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) on Thursday, renewed its commitment to support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s drive to enhance food and nutrition security, eradicate poverty and hunger through regenerative agriculture.
The new Nigeria Country Director of SAA, Dr Godwin Atser, said this when he paid a courtesy visit to Malam Abdullahi Abubakar, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in Abuja.
Atser said that the aim of the visit was to foster the already existing partnership with Nigeria as well as strengthen it.
“We are here to foster that relationship and build on it and strengthen it more and more.
“We are here to renew our commitment to the Federal Government of Nigeria that Sasakawa is here,” he said.
Atser said the SAA strategy is in line with the priorities of the government of Nigeria.
“We are ready to work and support efforts of the government in order to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner.
“This is such that together we can help eradicate hunger and poverty and make our farmers proud,” he said.
Atser said that the strategy of the association is regenerative agriculture, which is agriculture being implemented in a way that it does not undermine or jeopardise the environment.
“We want to grow foods in such a way that the land can be preserved and sustainable,” he said.
Atser said that “nutrition sensitive agriculture” is also part of the Sasakawa’s renewed strategy.
He said nutrition sensitive agriculture aimed to ensure that crops cushioned to farmers have the nutrition values that could help change their health status.
“Market oriented agriculture is another pillar we are pushing, where we are making our famers to understand farming as a business.
“We also built a lot of capacity of our farmers and also of our extension agents. Building the capacity of farmers is key to what we do.
“Also we focus on inclusion. How do we bring on board youths, women and people living with disabilities? These are cross cutting issues that we are looking at,” Atser said.
Responding, Abubakar said that he cherished the visit and was equally elated that the collaboration between SAA and Nigeria had grown.
He expressed readiness to assist small holder farmers with relevant starter packs so that they could become large scale farmers.
Earlier, Prof. Sani Miko, the former Country Director of Sasakawa, thanked Abubakar for his support to him while in office, and continuous cooperation with the association.
Miko urged him to extend same support to the new country Director of Sasakawa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) was registered as a not-for-profit international NGO in Geneva, Switzerland in 1986.
The focus of the association which was the initiative of the late Ryoichi Sasakawa, founder and former Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, is
to seek a more sustainable solution to Africa’s food security problems
SAA’s approach has always focused on demonstrating the potential of improved agricultural technologies to extension agents and farmers through on-farm demonstration and training, from which extension agents and farmers could assess the technologies by themselves.(NAN)