The Federal Government on Friday said it would offer technical support to Potatoes Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) and Oil Palm Association of Nigeria (PAN) to improve their productions.
A statement signed by Mr Taye Akinyemi, the Deputy Director Press, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in Abuja, quoted Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister as saying this when the executives of the two associations paid him courtesy visit in his office.
Onu said that the ministry’s effort would enable the associations to meet up with the demand of local industries and for exports, to ensure food security in the country.
The minister advised the associations to keep on using improved varieties of potato and oil palm seeds, in addition to the adoption of the use of organic fertilisers to improve planting techniques.
He said that agriculture was 90 per cent scientific in the food chain process.
“The National Research and Innovation Council through its platform will ensure that there is food security in the country.”
Onu said that oil palm was of important economic value because of the many resources associated with it in the production process.
Mr Daniel Okafor, the POFAN National President, said that the purpose of the visit was to seek technical support of the ministry.
Okafor said that the aim of the association was to stimulate increased private sector investment in the establishment of potato industries.
“Also to promote special type of sweet potato known as Orange Fleshed Sweet potato (OFSP) essentially for its health, economic and wealth benefits.
“The potato farmers want the ministry to provide technical support to the organisation and assist in designing and fabrication of bakery equipment that will be distributed to 774 local government areas in the country; for the establishment of Oranged-Fleshed sweet potato bread and other confectionary such as cake, biscuit, cookies, chips, chin-chin, doughnut, puff-puff, meat pie and starch industry.”
Mr Igwe Chukwuemeka, the PAN President appealed to the ministries of science, trade and investment as well as agriculture to bring all the governors of the 24 oil producing states to produce a master plan.
“If the nation goes back to oil palm production, Nigeria will be stronger than before as the bye products of oil palm are more than 360.”
Meanwhile, a team of Nigerian engineers led by former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, visited Onu seeking for the support of the ministry toward the production of power generating machine the team produced.
Nebo said that the team had designed and developed a made in Nigeria Power Generating machine, which had the capacity to reduce the cost and consumption of fuel.
Nebo said that the machine, which was developed by a formidable engineering team, was ahead of world global power system and had the potential to reduce fuel maintenance and infrastructure costs.
The minister said that the innovation would help to generate enough electricity to power industries for job creation.
“Also, to move our economy from being resource based to knowledge based innovation driven economy.
“I want to assure you that Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will support this effort because it is in the best interest of the nation.” (NAN)
•Photo shows Ogbonnaya Onu.