‘Information vital to food security’

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The Chief Executive Officer of Agro Nigeria, the Pan-African Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Organization, Mr. Richard Mark Mbaram, said that African countries need to do more to share knowledge and information on agriculture if they stimulate the continent's economic growth,

Speaking in Lagos, Mbaram said that information about agriculture is critical to improving food security, calling for improved farmer advisory services that will contribute to sustainable productivity and profitable agricultural growth.

He lamented that in Nigeria, one producer for 10,000 farmers, compared to one of the 200 farmers in developed countries.

The gap, he said, could be narrowed by using the media and ICT tools.

He said that his organization was working on using the media to provide knowledge to farmers and agribusinesses.

To this end, Mbaram said that his organization is launching a continental communications project to combat the serious lack of knowledge workers in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

To this end, he said that his organization provided the services of Nollywood and artists of the creative industry for the production of films and television programs to encourage young people to farm.

Mbaram said that it is necessary to demonstrate the attractiveness, benefits and wealth in the agricultural sector to youth through films and television series.

He said that the television series will demonstrate the potential of the agrarian in Nigeria, capable of leading the economic development of Africa, if it is properly used.

"We want to use the screen to demystify the notion that agriculture is a complex sector, so it collaborates with some well-known figures in the Nollywood industry to showcase the agriculture sector.

"The first phase in Nigeria will swallow N350 million, while N350 million will be spent on the continental level."

He said that the project will help farmers increase production, open new markets for their products and gain access to new knowledge and technologies.

Agro Nigeria is the organizer and driver of the Summit of Feed Nigeria, an annual gathering of stakeholders in agribusiness.

He warned that there would be a great risk for governments to continue neglecting the recruitment of extension services.

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