Country Director, SASSAKAWA Global 2000,Prof. Sani Miko, says no fewer than 16 universities are seeking partnership with the organisation to boost agricultural productivity in Nigeria.
The country director made the disclosure while addressing participants at the ongoing two-day Stakeholders National Annual Review and Planning Workshop on the SASSAKAWA Global 2000 programme on Thursday in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Miko said already, the organisation was working with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Bayero University Kano, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto and University of Ilorin among others.
The country director appreciated Federal University Dutsinma, saying that it was the latest university to join the train.
He said the partnership when formalised, would aid the propagation of technology dissemination to enhance production and ensure food security.
Miko recalled that in 2001 the organisation found it difficult at the beginning to establish the programme at ABU, due to hurdles set by the National Universities’ Commission (NUC).
Miko, however, expressed appreciation that the NUC had now accepted them, assuring that more universities were willing to join.
“The NUC has accepted the programme and make it a nationally accredited funding programme and many universities are coming to show interest.
“I think already, we have 16 universities that have written to us willing to join, I must appreciate Federal University Dutsinma, it is the latest university to join us.
“And up till now that I am talking to you they have not receive a single dollar, all what they have done was done with their own resources,” he said.
The country director said work was in progress to develop strategic plan that will be unveiled very soon.
“We need inputs from you on how to develop our work plan, because SG2000 is not working in isolation. Whatever we do, we try to restrain our intervention into the national plan.
“We want to know the successes recorded last year as well as the challenges you face and the way forward, so that all of you can look at it, criticize where necessary and recommend whether to drop or add some of the new ideas.
“By the end of this workshop, we expect to leave this hall with agreed work plan, so that when we come to implement everybody feels the ownership.
“Actually the draft work plan didn’t come from SG 2000, we did our own community assessment looking at the challenges of the farmers,” he said.
He said the organisation prioritises the challenges and then decide certain intervention to address such challenges.