Technology has been described as a tool capable of developing the agricultural sector of the economy in these times of dire need if properly harnessed.
The need to devise a means of employing the initiative as a means of improving the sector is the topic for discussion at the 2.0 Agroconnect session held at the Lagos Travel Inn Hotel, Ikeja today.
The event tagged; #AgroConnect 2.0: Technology as a Smart tool for Agricultural Sector hosted by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) is part of the programs of the ongoing Social Media Week.
Addressing the gathering of youth, entrepreneurs, farmers and others, Mr Arigbabu Sulaimon Executive Director, HEDA Resource Centre said that it is high time the country moved away from the traditional means of doing things and embrace technology.
“Nigeria needs a holistic change not just in governance but in all ramifications. There is a need for a paradigm shift of thinking that farmers are the poor, we need to embrace the new ways of farming and expand our opportunities.”
Enjoining the youth to engage in skillful agriculture with leverage on new techniques and technology, he challenged them to ‘step out of lamentation and enter the group that think, say and act.’
Lamenting the neglect of sector, Mr Ayo Adeyemi, Founder, Lorache Consulting said that agriculture is the major economic sustenance in the developed world.
In his words ‘agriculture has powered the great economies of the world, they thrive on small business which grow into big ones overtime but the reverse is the case in Nigeria. How many indigenous companies in Nigeria are up to 100 years? What has happened to the business of our forefathers? He questioned rhetorically.
He said that Nigeria with the bountiful arable land still import many of her consumables.
“There are many opportunities in Nigeria but we fail to explore it. We export cocao and import chocolate.”
Mr Adeyemi stated that the youth should embrace agriculture with the huge opportunities provided by technology.
“There are many equipment we can use to monitor our farms even without going there. We can use the social media to market and share information about our produce. All we need is to open up and take up the opportunities.”
He urged anyone who wishes to take up farming to be innovative and those interested in agriculture to research, and do things in innovative ways.
The event also witnessed an interactive session where the problems and possible solutions to agriculture in the country is discussed.
Respondents identified cost of transportation, price instability, lack of uniform measure, and lack of information among others as problems.
As solutions, the participants agreed that an effective use of technology and modern equipment will enhance agricultural production in the country.
The AgroConnect 2.0 is a follow up program on the 1.0 series held last year.