Former President Goodluck Jonathan has been appointed as Africa’s Ambassador for African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).
The development was contained in a statement issued by the Communication Officer of AATF, Alex Abutu.
The Executive Director of the AATF, Dr Canisius Kanangire, shortly after the meeting with the former president in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, said his appointment was due to his track record of championing an agricultural transformation in the continent.
According to him, the foundation is honoured to have Jonathan as its ambassador, adding that his agricultural legacy as President of Nigeria was his ability to cut down on the importation of food that can be produced locally.
The statement further stated that “Dr Kanangire said that Dr Jonathan’s commitment to uplift agriculture on the continent was exemplified by the Agricultural Transformation Agenda he pursued and diligently implemented in Nigeria during his tenure as President.
“The agenda targeted increasing efficiency and profitability in about 12 selected key agricultural commodities, which include: cotton, cocoa, cassava, oil palm, maize, soya bean, onion, rice, livestock, fisheries, tomato and sorghum.
“Under the agenda, about 3.5 million new jobs were created based on the selected key products, while many more jobs were created from other value chain activities, with over N300 billion of additional income in the hands of Nigerian farmers and rural entrepreneurs. In addition, over N60 billion (US$380 million) was injected into the economy from the substitution of 20% of bread wheat flour with cassava flour.
Another critical element of Dr Goodluck’s agricultural legacy as President of Nigeria was his ability to cut down on the importation of food that can be produced locally, thereby, saving the nation well over N1.3 trillion per annum on the importation of foodstuff.
“Dr Jonathan was able to demonstrate in Nigeria that agriculture should be treated as a business and supported by relevant policies for the improvement of the livelihoods of our growing farming population.
“As AATF’s Ambassador, Dr Jonathan will advocate for the advancement of Africa’s agricultural goals and economic growth through the application of innovative technologies and enhanced investment in agriculture.
AATF is honored to have the former president as our Ambassador, whose role will accelerate ongoing efforts to improve our agricultural terrain.”