Dr. Tony Bello, an expert in agribusiness has called on government at all levels to as a matter of urgency intensify awareness about sustainable agribusiness development, build agribusiness skills and technological capabilities among firms and her citizen to enhance the nation’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) positively.
Bello stated this while speaking at the inaugural meeting of Agriculture Bureau Association in Abuja where stakeholders were drawn from the various agricultural value chains.
According to him, the association is agribusinesses investors working towards uplifting smallholder farmers to drive inclusive growth for youths and women.
While highlighting new approach towards addressing gaps in agriculture, especially in transforming it into a business, identified good policy articulation, adequate working capital, appropriate technology and adequate infrastructure as key to sustainable agribusiness development in Nigeria, he lamented that poor quality control on most of the exportable products has been the major challenge militating against the acceptance of local products at the international markets.
Speaking further he identified non-availability of funds, low quantity of inputs and reduction of participants in the agribusiness as major challenges hindering the growth of agriculture.
He also called for intensified efforts toward boosting the nation’s economy through the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Suleiman Dikwa, CEO, Green Sahara Farms Limited, called for policies that will enhance agribusiness, with a view to making agribusiness engagement sustainable.
“We want to engage the government and relevant stakeholders so as to create sustainable agribusiness in Nigeria.
Salamatu Garba, Founder, Women Farmers Advance Network (WOFAN), highlighted the gaps to include standardisation, poor quality control on most products as the major challenge militating against the acceptance of local products at the local and international markets.
She identified poor packaging as an inhibiting factor, which must be addressed by key players in the sector.
According to her, “issues like aflatoxin, too many pesticides have constituted a lot of problems in goods we are producing in this country.
“We will reduce a lot of waste by transforming it into wealth. This will create a job to encourage youths to come into agriculture,” she said.