Expert seeks mechanized agric system
By Kehinde Oluwatayo
A Professor of Agricultural Economics, Adeduro Adegeye, has said that for development to take place in the Nigeria’s agricultural sector, it is important to look beyond the peasant production system.
Adegeye, stated this while delivering a keynote address titled: Nigerian Agriculture: Beyond Hoes And Cutlasses And The Challenges Of Nigerian Trained Agriculturists during the 2018 South-West Zonal Workshop of Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS) at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan.
He posited that:”We must have improved production strategies that will ensure sustainable production. The immediate solution we have is in developing agribusiness sector so that we can have more investments in agriculture, more innovation, more processing of our raw materials, organised distribution and marketing system that will encourage farmers to increase their productivity.”
Adegeye identified climate change as a major obstacle to agricultural production which he said is not easily predictable. “For instance, flooding in February this year in some parts of Ondo state can hardly be imagined. Some of these are actually specific to some places.”
The Director, Entrepreneurship and General Studies, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Ondo State, submitted that with collaboration between the stakeholder,s much can be achieved in increasing agricultural production.
“Except we go for well-meaning revolution in agriculture we may not be able to go beyond hoes and cutlasses in years to come. But through innovations at various levels, we can increase farmers’ productivity while thinking about how to modernise agriculture to meet the demand for food and other raw materials,” He concluded.
In his remarks, Director IAR&T, Professor James Adeniran, expressed appreciation to governors of the South West states who regularly fund REFILS activities in their states despite the dwindling funds to states.
“We are not unaware of the current economic situation of the country but extension of innovations in agricultural practices cannot be ignored. Thus, I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our governors to factor in to their annual budget funds for REFILS as a priority list. This will no doubt go a long way for the government to achieve the aim of developing agriculture and reduce poverty in the south-west and Nigeria at large.”
Addressing the gathering, Zonal Coordinator, (South-West REFILS), Dr Olukemi Lawal, said the theme for this year’s workshop: “Promoting Agribusiness and Strengthening Stakeholders Linkages in Adapting to Climate Change” was carefully chosen to meet the current issues in agribusiness such as credit facilitation, marketing and climate change.
“Farmers productivity is being hindered due to lack of accessibility to credit and output market. Climate change has also become a major agricultural challenge of our time. The erratic rainfall, flooding and extreme temperature call for adaptation to reduce the effects of climate change. Thee is the need to strengthen linkages among agricultural stakeholders (credit, imputs, market) if we want farmers to remain in business and produce for both local and international markets.”