Friday, 22 August 2014

Hands-on multi-disciplinary approach to Agricultural development

Agriculture should not be left for farmers alone, all hands just have to be on deck if Nigeria wants Agriculture to move to the next level. The NEXT LEVEL here is the point where Nigeria is self-sufficient in food production and poised enough to produce substantial raw materials for industrial development. This way the poor will have access to 'daily bread' and most SMEs will have cheap and indigenous raw materials to boost business and promote 'made-in-Nigeria' goods and services. This is simple, let every profession device a means to apply tailored technology to boost agricultural activities.

Yes! if engineers, technologists and technicians will look inwards and be committed to this cause, indigenous technological designs which fast track production, processing and preservation of agric. produce can be developed. It will help cut high costs involved in importation of equipment and post harvest losses incurred due to lack of necessary equipment.
Marketing and distribution of agric. products can be enhanced if business and marketing experts will pay little attention and come up with strategic ideas.

Banks and financial institutions need to come up with ways to help small holders and rural farmers manage, transfer and obtain funds to boost their agribusiness and foster financial supports as well. This will help support efforts made by these highly valued groups that produce more than 50 percent of the local staple foods we consume daily.

Teachers should encourage students to study agriculture related subjects and engage in practicals. This will enhance sustainable agricultural development and home gardening/farming as well. Home gardening has been reported to be responsible for over 80 percent of staple foods produced and marketed daily in most developed countries we admire today. These countries support individuals to engage in farming because they know the imports of such agricultural activities even on foreign exchange earnings.

Higher institutions and research institutes should engage in development-based researches to enhance innovations and products development to meet socio-economic needs (hunger, poverty, and joblessness) and solve limiting problems.

Churches, NGOs and Cooperatives can organize trainings and other supports to encourage awareness and capacity development programmes for members. A lot of jobless folks can see opportunities and spring up from there while others can improve on or add value to what they are already doing to enhance markets and increase income.

Government should put flexible policies in place to encourage farmers. Politicians can invest in developing their restive youths and engage them productively at the grass root levels.

A lot can be done to boost agricultural development in Nigeria especially, in the area of making cheap foods available, creating jobs and reducing importation of agro-products. Industries will spring up when raw material are made available. Young people will get involved if agribusiness is made attractive. Value addition is very important in agriculture, it enhance market for products. It takes creativity, innovative researches, capacity development and  modern technology duly put in place.

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