• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Experts call for adoption of smart tech to drive food security

…says Nigeria can feed West Africa region

Nigeria needs smart technologies to transform its rural areas and agriculture to tackle youth unemployment, and food insecurity and drive economic growth, according to experts.

The experts spoke at an event organised by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in partnership with Sustainable Agro and Hunger Eradication at the University of Lagos to mark 2024 Children’s Day.

Oluwatoyin Adetunji, agricultural transformation specialist at the IITA-Cotonou, Benin Republic, said if technology is adopted in Nigeria’s agriculture, the country can grow enough to feed itself and other West African countries.

Adetunji noted that Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava, yet has not been able to convert that large value chain into tackling surging garri prices and worsening food insecurity.

“If technology is fully adopted into the farming system, we can begin to feed other West African countries,” she said.

She added that the country holds the potential to make multi-billion dollar wealth from agritech with the adoption of smart technologies and digital innovation in the sector.

According to her, agriculture should be seen as a business with different segments that can be harnessed by young people. She noted that with technology more young people will be attracted to the sector.

Akin Akinbola, managing director of Promosalons Nigeria, said that with agritech, food crisis will no longer be a problem, noting that with more investment in technology-driven farming across the country, food insecurity will be a thing of the past.

“Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people and in the next four years, this would have become about 400 million, indicating that we have to do something about food production,” he stated.

He urged the students present at the Children’s Day event, to see agriculture as a business and not as a profession for the old.

Other speakers reiterated the huge potential of agritech in Nigeria. They urged the federal government to help change the narrative of agriculture in the country by investing in the sector.

They also encouraged secondary school students to engage in subsistence farming, as this could grow to become a contributor to Nigeria’s food chain.

The event themed, ‘Becoming a Technology Driven Farmer’ brought together different school students across Lagos to learn about the role of technology in Nigeria’s agriculture.

“I want to encourage every student here not to look down on agriculture. They should see beyond subsistence agriculture. Agriculture is a business and should be seen as one,” Adetunji said.

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