Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation AATF has named Former Nigeria President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as “Africa’s Ambassador for Agricultural Technology”.
Making the announcement after meeting with the former president in Yenagoa, Bayelsa South-South Nigeria the AATF Executive Director, Dr Canisius Kanangire said the appointment was informed by His Excellency’s trackrecord of championing agricultural transformation on the continent.
Dr Kanangire said that Dr Jonathan’s commitment to uplift agriculture on the continent was exemplified by the Agricultural Transformation Agenda he pursued and diligently implemented in Nigeria during his tenure as President.
The agenda targeted increasing efficiency and profitability in about 12 selected key agricultural commodities, which include: cotton, cocoa, cassava, oil palm, maize, soya bean, onion, rice, livestock, fisheries, tomato and sorghum.
According to him,Under the agenda also about 3.5 million new jobs were created based on the selected key products, while many more jobs were created from other value chains activities, with over N300 billions of additional income in the hands of Nigerian farmers and rural entrepreneurs.
He further explained that over N60 billion (US$380 million) injected into the economy from the substitution of 20% of bread wheat flour with cassava flour.
Another critical element of Dr Goodluck’s agricultural legacy as President of Nigeria he said was his ability to cut down on the importation of food that can be produced locally, thereby, saving the nation well over N1.3 trillion per annum on the importation of foodstuff.
“Dr Jonathan was able to demonstrate in Nigeria that agriculture should be treated as a business and supported by relevant policies for the improvement of the livelihoods of our growing farming population.” he said.
Dr Kanangire noted that as AATF’s Ambassador, Dr. Jonathan will advocate for the advancement of Africa’s will advocate for advancement of agricultural and economic growth through application of innovative technologies.
Accepting the appointment, Dr Jonathan said as a former Head of State, his interest for driving food security and transformation for better quality of life in Africa was for the growth of the continent.
Writing by Rabi Momoh, editing by Daniel Adejo