The National Committee of Heads of Colleges of Agriculture and Related Disciplines (NACHCARD) has appealed to the Nigerian federal government to reconsider its plan to lease lands within their institutions for food production.

During its 65th Regular Meeting in Abuja, the committee acknowledged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s (FMAFS) request for information on available lands for food production in the colleges. However, NACHCARD stressed the importance of the ministry providing funds and inputs to the colleges instead of leasing their lands to external parties, to prevent potential encroachment by land grabbers.

The committee also advised FMAFS to collaborate with and support the colleges for training in agriculture, as well as the execution of farmers’ and extension workers’ programs.

The communiqué issued by NACHCARD expressed concern about the recent decrease in student enrollment in agricultural colleges. This decline was attributed to the lowering of JAMB cutoffs for universities and the increasing number of polytechnics offering agricultural courses. The committee warned that if this trend persists, it could undermine the purpose of establishing the colleges and jeopardize the government’s efforts to encourage youth participation in agriculture, impacting overall food security initiatives.

Additionally, NACHCARD called for the swift inauguration of the NADFUND board to enhance the effectiveness of the emergency declared on food security. The committee advocated for agricultural colleges at federal and state levels to be given top priority in fund allocation, highlighting their exclusion from TetFund intervention since 2010 as an oversight.

Lastly, NACHCARD observed that some government agency application portals, especially in the military and paramilitary sectors, do not include Monotechnics in the list of tertiary institutions. This omission denies qualified graduates from agricultural colleges the opportunity to participate in recruitment exercises, prompting an appeal for inter-ministerial dialogue to address the issue.


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