Some stakeholders at the ongoing Agric Social Media Week, on Wednesday, said that deploying modern technologies in agriculture would drive economic growth, thereby making agriculture the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.
The stakeholders said this in separate interviews with journalists on the sidelines of the two-day event tagged “The Agric Take Over” in Lagos.
It was jointly organised by the Corporate Farmers International (CFI) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
According to the organisers, food and agriculture sector employs over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s estimated 180 million population, with an annual contribution of $600 million dollars to the economy.
Wole Ogunlade, Co-Founder, Probity Farms, said that application of modern technology to farming would result in improved quality seeds and yields.
Ogunlade said: “Agriculture has changed from hoes and cutlasses into the use of modern technologies.
“Farmers need to start applying technology in various aspects of farm work to improve quality of seeds, quality and quantity of yields”.
Halina Apaila, Country Representative of Digital African Woman, said that farmers needed to be trained on technological tools to improve ideas, seeds marketing and improve start-ups (for expansion).
She said that only when farmers embrace technology that would they be able to access international engagements and investments.
Emmanuel Owolabi, Country Manager of Okapi Finance, said that farmers should be open to embrace technologies which come freely.
“There are organisations which are ready to provide farmers with technologies at no cost.
“Sometimes, the farmer does not need the internet to be on our platform to request for maybe insurance for his farm, or equipment for farming activities, ” he said.
Sarah Odended, African Harvesters, says technology impacts the profitability of every phase of agriculture.
Ade Ajayi, spokesman for the CFI, organisers of the agricultural show, said that no fewer than 40,000 youths were connected to the event online in Senegal, Kenya and Rwanda.