Nigeria's agricultural potential is enough to propel the nation’s economy to greater heights – Agricultural Industrialists - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Nigeria's agricultural potential is enough to propel the nation’s economy to greater heights – Agricultural Industrialists

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Nigeria’s Agricultural Industrialists have said that the country’s agricultural potential is enough to propel the nation’s economy to greater heights if agricultural mechanization is given a pride of place.

This was stated at the opening ceremony of maiden Nigerian Agricultural Mechanization Exhibition tagged ‘NAME 2022’.

The event which was held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, the state capital had stakeholders in the agricultural sector within the 36states of Nigeria in represented.

In a communiqué signed by the Chairman of HB Limited and issued at the end of the closing ceremony of the programme, the gathering maintained that for the country to be sustainable in food production, agricultural mechanization is in-evitable, saying it is an aberration that the nation’s import exceeds her export, because agricultural mechanization is not given a pride of place.

The Communiqué read in part: 

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE OPENING OF THE 3 DAY MAIDEN NIGERIAN AGRICULTURAL MECHANISATION EXHIBITION TAGGED (NAME,2022) PUT TOGETHER BY THE HEPHZIBAH EXTRA AND BROAD RIVER LIMITED WITH THE THEME ‘REDEFINING AGRICULTURAL MECHANISATION TO ENHANCE FOOD SECURITY AND BOOST AGRIC BUSINESS’, HELD AT THE JUNE 12 CULTURAL CENTRE. KUTO, ABEOKUTA BETWEEN WEDNESDAY, 16TH- FRIDAY 18TH OF FEBRUARY, 2022.

The gathering which is the maiden convergence of Agricultural Mechanization Industrialists was a meeting point between stakeholders in the Agricultural sector, within the value chain, especially convened to address the gap in the value chain.

The gathering observed that for the country to be sustainable in food production, agricultural mechanization is in-evitable, saying it is an aberration that the nation’s import exceeds her export, because agricultural mechanization is not given a pride of place.

The gathering lamented that out of the over 70 million available hectares of land for cultivation, less than 50% is cultivated attributing this to low tractorisation as the country has just 10 tractors to 100 hectares of land. And, with about 7,000 available tractors to the demand level of over 1 million tractors, it stated that the shortage of tractor must also be addressed, to revive the agricultural sector.

It also observed that irrigation technology, which would have made a lot of difference, is no longer common place in Nigeria.

It was also a consensus of opinion that the Nigerian Agricultural Sector lacks appeals to the youth, because of the way it is structured. It therefore canvassed the need to strengthen Agripreneur Initiative, which will encourage the youths to take interest in Agriculture through Mechanized practices.

The gathering saw the need to connect all stakeholders in the Agricultural value chain, in order to strengthen the weak chains in the Agricultural value chain.

The issue of insecurity which has become like a hydra headed problem in the Nigerian setting also came up at the event, observing that it has affected food security adversely, while urging the government to address insecurity on all fronts.

The gathering observed that majority of farmers do not benefit from the incentives provided by the government, lamenting that only about 1% of the farming population in this part of the country have access to government facilities to boost farming, saying this lapses must be addressed to move agriculture forward in Nigeria.

The issue of Agricultural funding was also seriously delved into, while the gathering called on the stakeholders to walk the talk and resolve to ensure that the event is not just another talk shop or a mere showcase of agricultural equipment.

The gathering while seeking solution to the agricultural challenges bedeviling the nation expressed concern on the need to find a way to implement agricultural mechanization at the local and grassroots level.

It observed that agriculture is second to none in terms of job creation and value chain, saying the agricultural potential in the country is enough to propel the nation’s economy to greater heights.

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