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Kaduna Government says agriculture is key to rural economic development

The commissioner added the present administration has created better initiatives to develop agriculture in the state.

Societal development hinges on rural economy – Commissioner [NAN]

Ahmed said this while speaking to newsmen at the sideline of the 4th Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) Policy Dialogue on Wednesday in Kaduna.

He pointed out that the rural economy in Kaduna state was driven by agriculture, adding, "this dialogue aligns with item five of Gov. Uba Sani’s "SUSTAIN Agenda", which is agricultural and rural development.”

Ahmed said that over the years, the government had spent hugely in trying to develop agriculture in the state but to no avail, saying, "That is why the present administration came up with better initiatives.”

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He said the event, which brought together a diverse group of stakeholders including policymakers, academics, civil society, the private sector, media, and students, was to discuss critical economic issues facing recent times.

Ahmed said, “It’s a platform for knowledge sharing, exploring best policy options for the government, and receiving valuable feedback from all participants.

“Through open discussions, we can all learn from each other and work towards a more prosperous future.

“The Policy Dialogue will be conducted regularly and will focus on critical economic and social challenges facing the state/country.

”Participants will engage in a review of relevant publications, including those from the EIU and the government.

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“Open discussions will explore policy options and solutions, fostering collaboration between policymakers, stakeholders, and the public.”

He said the reports and findings from the dialogue would be shared with the government, where it aims to generate constructive criticism and valuable insights to inform future policy decisions.

Also, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Murtala Dabo, said agriculture contributes about 43% of the state’s GDP. He said it was critical to engage in ways that would improve agriculture in the state for its prosperity and the wealth of farmers.

Dabo said the ministry was doing a lot in supporting farmers across the states while restarting their commitment to the cause.

Earlier, the Deputy Governor of the state, Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, said through the discussion, they aimed to identify actionable strategies for the government to achieve swift progress towards its vision for a prosperous populace.

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She added that insights from the dialogue would also provide valuable information for the EIU’s analysis of current economic trends in Nigeria.

“We anticipate that the dialogue’s report will equip policymakers with the necessary knowledge to formulate the most effective policies for the state,” she added.

Bashir Ladan, the Director of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the commission, said the EIU was a research-driven unit dedicated to strengthening policy-making, service delivery, and good governance.

Ladan, who doubles as the EIU Head, said they achieve their mandate by developing and monitoring leading economic and fiscal indicators. Similarly, they advise the government on robust and adaptable economic policies that could withstand economic challenges and navigate desirable changes.

He stated that the unit’s research reports have gone beyond informing Kaduna State policy.

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Our insightful analyses have shaped economic discussions at the National Economic Council, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and even reached the President’s Office.

"This demonstrates the national significance of the EIU’s work,” Ladan stated.

Speaking further, the unit head said the policy dialogue focused on agriculture and rural economic development, two critical pillars of the government’s "SUSTAIN Agenda".

He stressed that the dialogue was a prime example of the government’s commitment to open governance by fostering citizen engagement, the seventh pillar of the SUSTAIN manifesto.

Ladan said, “Insights from this dialogue will also provide valuable information for our analysis of current economic trends in Nigeria.

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"We anticipate that the dialogue’s report will equip policymakers with the necessary knowledge to formulate the most effective policies for the state.”

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