The need to have accurate and reliable agricultural data has been stressed by experts in the sector.
The stakeholders, including a farmer, Mr Azeez Oluwole Saheed; Prof. Femi Ajayi and Dr Olubunmi Alawode have said agricultural data is key to achieving food security in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Prof. Ajayi of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State and Dr Alawode of the Agricultural Economics Department, University of Ibadan, Ibadan stated this in separate interviews in Ibadan.
Alawode said: “Basic input-output data, as well as price and other data, are indispensable to plan a farm well. It helps in planning of agricultural extension services, government budget policies and pricing policy.”
Prof. Ajayi also said: “The current price of staple foods is an indication that we are gradually heading for food problems.”
Founder of Farmkonnect Agribusiness Nigeria, Mr Azeez Saheed, stated this while speaking with journalists in Ibadan.
Azeez identified lack of agricultural data as a major bane of agriculture in Africa which poses a serious challenge to food security on the continent.
To address some challenges and train farmers, Oluwole set up Agricultural Electronic Centre comprising Farmkonnect Agricultural Electronic Service Centre (FAgEX) and Farmkonnect Institute for Data and Agribusiness Studies (FIDAS).
He said: “The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has declared that by 2050, the world will have 9.1billion people to feed.
“To meet the target of reducing poverty and the number of the malnourished, the agriculture industry will have to increase food production by 70 per cent with an estimated $80 billion worth of investments going into the sector every year.”
The reality, he said, compelled the establishment of the extension centre.