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February 27, 2024
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Sen. Isa Yuguda, Chairman, Board of Trustees, APC Professional Forum (middle) and other dignitaries at the Abuja Tech Converge by Thrive Agric

Yuguda urges FG to reactivate river basins, build additional dams

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By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

A former Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Isa Yuguda, has called on the Federal Government to consider reactivation of the country’s river basins and construction of more dams.

Yuguda, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees, APC Professional Forum, made the call at the 2-day Abuja Tech Converge organised by Thrive Agric in collaboration with OCP Africa and other partners.

He said that the projects would boost agricultural yields in the country.

Yuguda listed the Basin in Maiduguri, Lower Benue River in Makurdi, Sokoto-Rima, Upper Niger, Hadeija-Jamaare in Kano, among others.

He said that revitalisation of the river basins could address the problems of food insecurity across the country and reduce hunger.

“Back in the day, river basins like the Chad basin had the capacity to produce tons of rice and wheat which was in excess and thrown on the streets for anyone interested to carry.

“The Federal Government needs to invest a lot; involve in all kinds of interventions, development of irrigation facilities all over the country.

“There is need to engage in extension services to educate farmers how to improve their yields and most importantly investing heavily in infrastructure, in canals, dams,’’ he said.

Mr Uka Eje, Chief Executive Officer of Thrive Agric, said the goal of the meeting was to emphasise the need for collaboration in the use of technology for agricultural value chain.

Eje also said that over the years, they have engaged in impacting rural under-served smallholder farmers with the aim of expanding their scope to ensure inclusivity among youths.

“This conference will spark off a new interest in many people who see agriculture as a difficult sector to understand.

“We want to ignite collaborative agriculture; we want to make the sector look more attractive; have more people; attract interest from youths, government, technology enthusiasts and innovators; so we can build the country of our dream,’’ he said.

He added the group had no fewer than 500,000 smallholder farmers and working to increase the number through its programme called Fida.

According to him, Fida is a programme designed to help everybody do the same thing as Thrive Agric for a wider reach and nation building.

Mr Akintunde Akinwade, Head, Business Development and Digital Projects of OCP, said, the Tech Converge will showcase the potential of technology in reshaping the future of agriculture which will engender sustainable communities.

Akinwade said the group had built an app named Udongo that provided farmers, agricultural extension workers, distributors and other people involved in the farming supply chain with online self-service applications.

He added that part of activities for the conference would be a techathon, where students from the first Tech-Talent Accelerated Project of Thrive Agric would showcase innovative projects they embarked on.

According to him, OCP Africa will be presenting gifts to the best performing groups and students.

Thrive Agric is a technology-driven agricultural company aimed at ensuring food security, providing farm inputs,machinery and advisory services to smallholder farmers for better income.

OCP Africa is a company involved in the production of and exportation of phosphate-based fertilizers ,phosphoric acid, phosphate derivatives and nutrient additives for plants and animal health. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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