Experts harp on use of technologies to boost food production
Feeding over 200 million Nigerians requires generation, improvement and widespread application of various home-grown and adapted technologies, innovations and farmer education, experts have said.
Over 30 million farmers in Nigeria should produce enough food for the country, but contrary is the case on accounts of primitive tools, non-application of improved technologies and high-yielding varieties.
Part of the challenges, they explained, are lack of farm-support rural infrastructure, inability to access the market, poor financing systems and non-existence accessible storage facilities.
The experts also agreed that application of cost-effective technologies in agriculture is the most powerful tool that could transform the way the country produces food.
They made this submission during an agro-tech incubation workshop facilitated by Wennovation Hub.Chief Executive Officer, Onyeka Akumah, said the development of agricultural technology service industry could be a solution to food insecurity.Intensive precision agriculture, he explained, had enabled farmers to use a smaller percel of land through greenhouses for more yields.
According to him, access to money and market, technical knowledge to improve their yield are major problems for farmers.“Collaboration of both private sector and public sector is key. The private sector can bridge the value chain gap by providing services for farmers, while the public sector would provide infrastructure for them.
“Agriculture is profitable because there is always a market for it. One only needs to identify a business model that helps keep cost,” he added.Another expert, Osasenaga Enogieru, said agriculture has the most significant impact on the economy, hence, the reason to invest in the sector.
“One of the best ways to upscale production in the sector is through technologies. So, we are looking at feeding Africa’s next billion, leveraging on technologies. We are building a solution venture for Africa by Africans,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Crop2Cash, Michael Ogundare, urged technology experts to design indigenous solutions for farmers. “Many of the farmers have low level of literacy and can barely use a mobile phone, let alone apps. Some even reside in areas that have no access to network. Hence, tech solution providers should consider these factors and more as the case maybe,” he explained.