Bayero University Kano (BUK) on Tuesday challenged experts to proffer solutions to threat of climate change, competition for natural resources and conflicts in dryland areas.
Vice Chancellor, BUK, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello made the call at opening session of the third International Conference on Drylands organized by the Centre for Dryland Agriculture of the institution in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello emphasized that universities have vital roles to play in helping governments and other stakeholders in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“I have no doubt that universities have important roles to play in helping governments and other stakeholders to implement the noble objectives of the SDGs by sharing their knowledge and experiences.”
He said the theme of the Conference, “has in many ways, extended the themes of the two previous conferences on drylands held in 2014 and 2016.
“I am particularly delighted that the theme for the 2018 conference stands out in the way it challenges speakers and presenters to seek solutions or give insights into understanding the serious challenges posed by climate change, competition for natural resources and conflicts in dryland areas.”
On his part Kano state deputy governor, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna appealed to the Centre for Drylands Agriculture (CDA), to partner with relevant Ministries and agencies of the state government in order to boost food sufficiency through the expansion of large scale farming in the state.
Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna who is also the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that developing agriculture from subsistence to commercial enterprise should be taken seriously at this point of the nation’s history.
In his welcome address, CDA Director, Prof. Jibrin M. Jibrin, decried the serious shortage of skilled manpower in sub-Saharan Africa, saying that it has continued to retard the development of agricultural technology in the region.
According to him, the biennial international conference on drylands is one of the programmes of the CDA that provides a platform for dissemination of research findings, networking and sharing of experiences between scientists, practitioners and other stakeholders.
The Speakers in the Conference include Dr. Peter Craufurd, Strategic Research Team Leader for Sustainable Intensification in Africa at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT); Bernard Vanlauwe, IITA, Kenya; Mr. Suffyan Koroma, FAO Representative to Nigeria; Raffaello Cervini, Lead Environmental Economist with the World Bank’s Environmental and Natural Resources Global Practice.
The Theme of the Conference is “Resource Constraints, Conflicts and Changing Climate in the Drylands: Options For Attaining SDGs”