Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have advocated for the use of technology and innovation in the sector to boost farmers’ productivity.
They stated this at the Agric workshop organised by the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) held yesterday in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Leveraging Technology & Digital Transformation in Agriculture’.
The chairman, Agric and Export Trade Group of NBCC, Dr. Olusola Obabori said: “any business without leveraging technology is operating in the past. This is why we are here today to examine the use of technology in boosting production in agriculture.”
He added that, with the use of technology, it will scale up production and gives best practices in the world, which will translate into more profit.
The permanent secretary, federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, stated that, the Nigerian Agriculture sector has potentials to drive economic growth and create wealth, due to the country’s viable agro-ecological zones, strong value chains and youthful population, which can be used to explore and undertake a diversified agribusiness undertaking.
He added that, over time, agriculture has had a longstanding role in Nigeria’s economy and currently contributes the most to overall GDP, saying today, it accounts for 25 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP and has remained resilient in the face of recent economic recessions and exogenous shocks.
According to Umakhihe, in repositioning the agriculture sector, thePresidency signed a priority deliverable compact with the ministry which is captured; the National Agricultural Research System of strengthening relevant research and training institutions along the path of sector-aligned, demand-driven and innovative technology, among others.
He noted that continuous local and foreign collaborations and partnership amongst State and non-State stakeholders remains the pivot of creating conducive business conditions, increasing private sector’s participation in the economy, expanding commodity value chain activities and raising agricultural output’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.
The CEO of Eresoft Limited and Ere Aeronautics Limited, Ebikekeme Ere said, the country population will be expected to double by 2050 as food demand is exploding, noting that farming is still very subsistent, yield per acre can vary 500 per cent within single field, fertilizer prices increasing every year, 50 to 60 per cent yield increase potential in crops and crop diseases are on the rise due to lack of mitigation.