Forbes African Person of the Year, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has explained why he was absent at the Agric ministers’ summit held yesterday in Berlin.
The summit was part of activities marking the 79th International Green Week, where issues concerning food security and sustainability were discussed.
Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Strategy, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, disclosed that his principal had been busy with preparations for the launch of 2014 dry season rice farming, thereby could not attend the summit.
A source within the ministry had confirmed to THISDAY that Adesina would not join his counterparts from about 77 nations across the globe to decide the world food policy. The source however did not state any reason for the Minister’s absence. “No we won’t be in Berlin for the Green Week,” the source said.
Director of Information in the Ministry, Mr. Gryne Anosike, when contacted, said the Minister would not participate in the meeting, due to his busy engagement with President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I don’t think so, if the meeting is holding tomorrow, then he won’t be there, the Minister has been busy with Mr. President since Monday,” Anosike said.
But Oyeleye explained that the launch of 2014 dry season rice farming, which would take place tomorrow (Monday) at the Aso Rock presidential Villa, was more important to the Minister than the world Agric minister’s meeting.
“This dry season rice farming has become so important that the Minister cannot abandon it for anything,” Oyeleye stated.
Adesina, a notable figure in the world agriculture policy making circle was expected to attend the world largest food exhibition which opened Thursday in Berlin.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Food Development in Germany, Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, while declaring the week open explained that the minister’s meeting would deliberate on finding solutions to the impending food crisis expected due to the climate change. This, according to him, was to ensure food security for the speculated 9 billion world population by 2050.
Expert panel discussions and GFFA working meetings held on Friday, and on Saturday, the summit ended with International GFFA panel discussion, Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit, International business panel discussion of GFFA Berlin, and an evening reception – GFFA Berlin.