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Agriculture and Education Take a Leap in Bayelsa

todayAugust 12, 2022 1

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Konbowei Benson writes about steps taken by Governor Douye Diri to transform the agricultural and educational sectors on Bayelsa State

Over time, industrialization, scientific breakthroughs, discovery of mineral resources and the likes have caused an increased shift of attention from the original source of livelihood man came to know from creation. Being the oldest sector of mankind’s sustainance, governments with very sensitive leaders at the helm are wise enough to recorgnise the irreplaceable role agriculture plays in the sustainance and survival of mankind.

Yearly, every region of the world sees an increase in population and with it diverse new challenges. It is therefore expedient that conscious effort and innovations are put in place to ensure sustained development of the agricultural sector

The Diri Douye-led government of Bayelsa is one that clearly recorgnises the important role of agriculture in societal development and one can see from the strides taken by the administration that it is laser focused on maximizing the limited land resources that Bayelsa state has.

Owing to it’s terrain, one would believe that agric development would not be a top priority of the leadership of a state like Bayelsa. Thankfully this isn’t the case as it is clear that the government is making huge strides to improve the agricultural sector in the state by investing finance, providing empowerment to stake holders, encouraging self sustainability and wealth creation even in rural areas.

The government is consistently empowering farmers with financial aids and operating land policies that tends to support agricultural development. Scientific and reserch help is given to farmers to help boost production both on a subsistence and commercial scale. Clear evidence of the potentials of wealth creation and economic development that agricultue offers was on display in the Made-in-Bayelsa Agric Produce Exhibition, which held at the Peace Park, Ovom, Yenagoa, not long ago.

The exhibition was a clear showcase of the Government’s believe in the potentials of the sector and an effort to make people see what the State is endowed with. This is of course accompanied by a solemn declaration of continuous support to achieve the aim of a vibrant Agric sector in the state. On display was various farm produce and raw materials essential for the production of many things useful in many other industries even in the agric sector where they came from. I believe this expo was  deliberately done to consolidate efforts to woo private sector involvement in the agric sector to boost production and enrich the supply chain, at the same time encouraging wealth creation and food security. Keeping in line with one of the fundamental sustainable development goals (SDG’s) of the the United Nations.

Obviously fish farming tends to be popular in these parts, stakeholders were educated on the availability of various raw materials readily available for fish feed production and indeed livestock production. Extensive information was given on sourcing out this materials and thier applications to get required results.

Further emphasizing more on the need for empowerment and more engagement of people in agriculture, there is substantial investment by the state government in agric land development. A few examples include the expansive rice farms at Otuasega, in Ogbia Local Government Area; Akassa, in Brass Local Government Area; and Yenagoa, in Yenagoa Local Government Area. The latter, situated at the School-to-Land base, has long served both for demonstration and experimentation purposes.

The government is also seen to be heavily active in the development of cassava production and processing, rice milling as well as yam and maize production with substantial investment. It is clear that the Douye-led administration is determined to achieve food sufficiency and economic diversification and it is clearly doing everything it can to bring into play stakeholders to make this happen more so as it has facilitated viable funding options with the help of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help farmers and producers alike.

Of course for any form of reorientation and growth to take place, the people must be well knowledgeable and equipped with the right environment to apply knowledge. Education is the single most powerful tool to change the world and having come from a teaching background, Governor Douye is surely not taking the educational sector lightly as well. He is clearly intentional to see that young Bayelsans are knowledgeable and fit for this technological and knowledge driven world.

Various policies are clearly in place to boost the educational sector and all this aside the infrastructural efforts seen around the state. New educational structures are springing up and old ones are being revamped. Skills acquisition programs and centers are made available to further equip the traditionally large chunk of graduates dished out by tertiary institutions, a large percentage of whom struggle to find relevance in the system. Therefore one can see that the aim is to make Bayelsans self employed and invariably become employers of labour themselves.

An Education Summit, themed “Optimising the Delivery, Performance and Sustainability of Outcomes in the Education Sector,” was held with the support of the administration with the aim of developing an integrated educational development policy to be systematically implemented over a 15-year span.

Another well calculated stride to develop education and one that must be applauded especially as there is high confidence in the implementation of the reports and deliberations from the summit

I definitely agree to the fact that agricultural and educational development are among the wisest pursuit of any government, because they will contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.

Clearly the leadership in Bayelsa state understand this stance and are doing all they can to better both sectors. A broad smile meaders across my face as the thought of what the future holds for Bayelsans cross my mind. Indeed the future is bright for the state aptly dubbed “the glory of all lands”

-Dr Benson writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

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