• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Agro-Industrialisation seen as Nigeria’s escape plan from economic sabotage

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The agriculture sector powered by industrialisation is Nigeria’s bailout from the economic sabotage laying hold on the success of agribusinesses in the country, say experts.

 The experts who spoke at the Farm2Fork Dialogue event which was held recently in Kwara State said that the country cannot grow its agriculture and other sectors when it becomes fully industrialised.

 Richard-Mark Mbaram, chief executive officer, AgroNigeria and co-convener, Farm2Fork Dialogue, described the realities of Nigeria’s economy as ‘Prodigal’ and remarked that agriculture is Nigeria’s get-out-of-jail-free card.

 While lauding the closure of Nigeria’s land borders by the President as a bold and decisive step, Mbaram noted that at the level of constructive engagements, there was the need for a few more active steps.

According to him, this was what informed the Farm2Fork Dialogue; to create long-standing solutions to the impediments hindering agro commodity businesses in the country.

 “The Farm2Fork Dialogue is not a talk shop; we are here to dimension custom-fitted solutions to challenges bedevilling Nigeria’s agribusiness,” he said in a statement.

He further stated that actualising the commodity ecosystem of the nation’s dreams must be prioritized for any meaningful transformation to occur.

 For Nigeria to leapfrog to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in agriculture, experts at the event pointed out that there needs to be an activation of a knowledge-based economy and proliferation of existing technologies across the various value chains.

 Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, a professor and special adviser to the African Development Bank President on Industrialization, on his part, described Agro-industrialisation as the ticket for job creation, adding that successful agricultural transformations are business-led.

He stated that agriculture is not just a sector, but a collection of technologies.

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On his part, Ade Adefeko, chairman, Agricultural Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), also reiterated the need to conduct a sectoral diagnosis for any real change to occur.

 “Right now, there is no convergence, and there is no-nexus regarding transiting to this revolution, and honestly, our research institutions are not fit for purpose,” Adefeko said.

 

 “What we need is a robust approach and a potpourri of Agric entrepreneurs to put things into perspective,” he added.

 Reiterating this charge in her address, Princess Roseline Ibitoye, president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) noted that the cocoa industry has been neglected by both past and present governments.

 She added that there is a need to put the cash crop back on track as the leading agro commodity in the country.

The various agricultural organisations present at the event urged the government to extend more physical and mechanisation support to farmers across the country.