The 2019 international conference on research and innovations in agriculture being organized by Nigeria’s premier magazine on agriculture, AGROBUSINESS TIMES, has received a major boost following partnership acceptance and endorsements by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the National Biotechnology Management Agency (NBMA).
In recognition of the role research and innovations play in fostering productivity in agriculture around the world and the need for concerted efforts in this regard for Nigeria as a means of achieving food security and economic development, AGROBUSINESS TIMES is set to hold a one day conference and expo tagged : International Conference and Expo on Research and Innovations in Agriculture (ICERIA 2019), themed: ‘’Harnessing Sustainable Agricultural Innovations for Economic Development’’.
With fomer IFAD President, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze as Keynote Speaker, and a cross section of seasoned stakeholders like Dr. Rose Gidado, Country Coordinator, Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, D.G/CEO, National Biotechnology Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery (IITA), Mr. Seye Oyeleye, DG., Development Agenda of Western Nigeria( DAWN Commission), Dr. Rogers Joshua Tanko, Lead Scientist, Feeds and Nutrition Research Programme, National Animal Production Research Programme, among discussants for the panel discussions, the event is scheduled to take place at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victory Island, Lagos, on October 24, 2019.
The aim of ICERIA 2019 is to propagate research milestones and innovations in the field of agriculture while creating awareness to facilitate opportunities for networking, collaborations and exchange of ideas with internationally renowned leaders in agriculture. To give a face and position this sub-sector in Nigeria and attract government attention and funding for agriculture research institutes. It would showcase innovations and attract investors into agribusiness, hence to debate gaps and priorities for sustainable development in optimizing agriculture. ICERIA would also identify innovations in optimizing agriculture, enlighten and educate farmers, students, etc.
According to the Editor of AGROBUSINESS TIMES, Jim Rex-Lawson Moses, he said that the major objective of the conference is to attract government attention towards funding of research institutes in Nigeria and the commercialization of sustainable research outcomes and innovations to advance the nation’s economy thus the need for a robust stakeholders’ engagement and rigorous discourse to chart a new green revolution backed by research and technology is sacrosanct”.
Jim Lawson stated further that the event was necessitated by the need to position the agric industry to change the present narrative of hunger, famine, starvation and poverty largely suffered in sub-Saharan Africa despite the huge opportunities for export, job creation and wealth creation.
He lamented the neglect of the sector by successive governments, the private sector, and most especially the banks in the area of funding despite the potentials in the sector capable of turning Nigeria’s economic fortunes around and even Africa into a global food power house.
“We believe that for us to change the current narrative, all hands must be on deck to make agriculture a major foreign exchange earner considering the huge opportunities” he said.
The event which is also supported by the Guild of Nigerian Agricultural Journalist (GNAJ), is expected to draw participants from the federal Agric Agencies, Government representatives, agriculture research institutes (local and international), departments of international trade, chambers of commerce, agricultural associations, banks & professional services companies, business bodies and networks, enterprise partnerships of Nigerians and international counterparts, accademics, famers, advocacy groups, etc.