Experts proffer solutions to agric challenges
The President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Architect Kabir Ibrahim, has stated that for the sector to perform credibly well, 10 per cent budgetary allocation, as stipulated in Maputo Declaration should be strictly adhered to.
Ibrahim, who was one of the discussants at the second Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture with the theme: Increased Agricultural Productivity For Sustainable Economic Growth, in Abuja, noted that government’s agriculture policies worked more in rhetoric than reality.
He said enabling environment for production and value addition should be created for actors in the entire value chain, so as to increase production and reduce wastage of farm produce.
Another farmer, Mr. Tony Oboh, said good quality seeds/seedlings, fertilizer and other farm inputs, in addition to credit facilities must be made available to farmers to enable them increase their productivity.
Another discussant, Prof. Iyayi, said research, proper policy coordination, sincerity and youth empowerment are strong ingredients for boosting agriculture production in the country.
Also, Dr. Angel Adelaja, identified creativity, innovation, technology and information dissemination as tools that will help the farmers in both production and marketing of their produce.
To John Ebele, capacity building and collaboration with relevant stakeholders will go a long way in mitigating some of the challenges in the agricultural sector.
Experts from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Olasupo Musa and Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Cyril Anyanwu, both agreed that agriculture needs proper financing, noting that their banks have been carrying out their agricultural funding mandates.
While Dr. Musa noted that there was need for synergy in order to create linkages between production, processing and marketing, Anyanwu harped on the need for collaboration.
Delivering a keynote address, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, called on Nigerians to urgently go back to agriculture, as it is the only sustainable business capable of ending the current recession in the country.