Dr Ikechi Agbugba, an agricultural expert, has said to urgently make Nigeria’s agriculture sector contribute better to the economy, stronger political leadership must be provided as well as improved access to public communication.
He added that Farmers’ accessibility to loans and other incentives with some regulation and accountability, building technical capacity, re-education of people, promotion of mechanisation, and upgraded supervision of agricultural initiatives and programmes are factors needed to improve agriculture in Nigeria
The honorary Associate Professor, University of Birmingham, UK, highlighted these essential reforms during an exclusive interview with Agronigeria recently.
Speaking further, he stressed the necessity of technology in agriculture and its possibility to not just be capable of reshaping the sector but also, advance the economy.
According to him, reports have shown that the level of mechanisation in Nigeria’s agriculture sector is among the slightest globally.
He said that the report was according to the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy 2022-2027.
He emphasised that the agricultural budget should be increased in a bid to boost domestic food security and will gain access to global markets.
In his words: “An agricultural budget should provide the policy direction for collaboration among key stakeholders in the agriculture value chain to boost domestic food security and will gain access to global markets.
“There is no doubt that mechanisation, irrigation facilities, research and development, digital agriculture, among other solutions is here to stay.
He added: “The strategy my team is developing for Africa’s transformation through the agriculture space can perfectly revamp Nigeria’s economy only if we are given the chance to deploy the needed resources for the 6 geopolitical zones.
“We must know who the real farmers are before we can connect to them and channel them to such meaningful interventions and bridge the gap between research and industry.”
Speaking on Nigerian agricultural budget allocation and implementation said that Tinubu’s budget for his renewed hope agenda is about 26% higher than the 2023 budget presented by the ex-President in 2022.
He noted that the budget could be an opportunity to fast track the growth engine in the agrarian sector. Undoubtedly, the sector is a dominating employment.