Emerging technologies in agriculture will drive youth inclusion
The deployment of emerging technologies in agriculture would drive youth inclusion into the sector, experts have said.According to experts at the Agritech Youth Empowerment session of the on-going Social Media Week (SMW), Lagos, with new technologies, the agriculture sector can be adequately reformed.
Consultant to Ogun State Governor on Agriculture, Angel Adelaja-Kuye, said for many countries, agriculture is a go-to sector for active youth engagement and onward investment, especially with the integration of emerging technologies.
“I am an Agritech promoter and will want to see more young people driving agriculture through technology,” adding that “The sector is a gold mine that our youths need to delve into as it offers a lot of career opportunities.”
According to Adelaja-Kuye, the sector is an area young people should key into, noting that Africa’s next billionaires were going to be from the agricultural sector.She said Agrictech was the fastest growing sector when it comes to investment finance, noting that small holder farmers can also buy into agribusiness using simpler technologies not necessarily high tech to boost their produce.
Talking on digital agriculture, Digital Farming Project Lead at Bayer Middle Africa Ltd., Segun Oworu, described agriculture as the frontier for human survival in the face of dwindling resources and increasing population.Oworu examined that developed countries such as Brazil, U.S. and Europe were spearheading the race for digital agriculture and data-driven agribusiness.
“Digital agriculture refers to tools that collect, store, analyse and share economic data or information along the agricultural value chain before and after farm production.
“In the race for digital agriculture, we as Nigerians and Africans need to know and identify our comparative advantage and focus rather than competing with developed economies.“This is based on the fact that we have special needs and challenges that fraught our system and economies,” Oworu said.He argued Nigeria’s food problem was not necessarily increased production, but efficiency of the value chain distribution and marketing.Oworu noted that by developing innovative solutions and technologies to support shortfalls, the country could be closer to attaining food self-sufficiency.
Head of AgriBusiness, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Wole Oshin, who noted that farming was now moving away from the use of hoes and cutlass to the age of emerging technologies, said Nigeria has potential, adding that what the nation needed to do was use the right tools to drive agritech business.
“The government has started deploying technologies to support agricultural production. We are beginning to use emerging technologies such as satellite monitoring devices that enables farmers to check the progress of their crops without necessarily going to the farm.“Other forms of technologies are also being developed to monitor and count the number of birds and eggs at the poultry,” he said.