Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of  Agriculture and Rural Development (middle). Twitter Twitter

By Oladipupo Mojeed

Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development says Borno state remains very important in the food security equation of Nigeria.

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This, he said, is inspite of the instability and insecurity.

He stated this recently at a high-level stakeholders’ meeting held at the government house in Maiduguri.

Promising agricultural state

Ogbeh described Borno as a very promising agricultural state in spite of the many setbacks it has suffered due to the Boko Haram insurgency.

The minister, however, warned that “ignoring rural development will hurt us all and pose a huge threat to our collective interest and well-being,” and called for “support to improve the lives and well-being of our rural communities.”

Prof. José Graziano da Silva, the leader of the delegation from the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), stated the need to recognise and acknowledge the long neglect of rural development in the region, worsened by the challenge of the Boko Haram insurgency.

He, however, expressed optimism about a common solution with the abundance of potential in the region.

“We strongly believe that there are great potentials in this region and we are bringing in our support for rural development and food security,” da Silva said.

The delegation was in Nigeria to visit north-eastern communities and the Lake Chad Basin to discuss current challenges and present the organisation’s support plans and response strategy for local efforts.

This is in a bid to increase the rural communities’ resilience following the devastation of their agriculture-based livelihoods by the Boko Haram crisis.

Governor Kashim Shettima described the FAO as one of the most practical and helpful organisations of the United Nations

He thanked the FAO’s DG, “who, despite travel advisory, has continued to visit us in search of solutions to our problems.”