FOR NIGERIA TO TRANSFORM AND REGAIN LOST GLORY, WE MUST PROMOTE AGRIBUSINESS” – EXPERT ADVOCATES AT 34TH LUCRID WEBINAR
An agribusiness expert has advised that investments in the various agricultural value chains should be encouraged because the business of agriculture remains the last resort for Nigeria to transform her economy in the short and long term to prevent the country from going back into recession and restore her lost glory. Dr Adelaja Adesina, Managing Consultant, Bdellium Consult Ltd, Lagos, made the advocacy during his presentation on the theme of the 34th LUCRID Webinar of Landmark University, “Agribusiness as the Vehicle for Nigeria to Come Out of Socio-Economic Doldrums” on Tuesday 14th March 2023.
Dr Adesina noted that Agricultural produce/products are valuable, particularly when further processed into secondary products. He said, “Until recently, agriculture in Nigeria was focused mainly on primary production and marketing of primary produce. Agribusiness focuses on the entire value chain, not just production.” He believed that, when done rightly, agribusiness can still contribute up to 50% of Nigeria’s GDP as it did between the 50s and 70s.
While mirroring Nigeria’s economic indices which all appeared unpleasant and spelt doom for the nation in the nearest future, Dr Adesina questioned the reason the nation has remained fixated on the crude oil economy when the nation can maximize the potential of agriculture and its business chain. By his juxtaposition, not only are agricultural products less complicated to process, more eco-friendly, and can generate more money and more employment opportunities, but also will put the nation at an economic advantage over crude oil. He further noted that the agriculture sector proved quite resilient during the recent 2016-2019 economic recession and the global COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
While his recommendations called for government-private sector involvement in the areas not limited to the provision of subsidy to agriculture and driving agricultural growth respectively, Dr Adesina provided some frameworks for agribusiness in Nigeria which included among others accelerating a re-focus on agriculture and agribusiness value chains through coordinated investments organized farmers networks, growth-oriented SMEs and blue chips value-adding companies; taking a decisive shift from exporting raw materials to greater value addition; improving the intra-African trade for agricultural products; sharp focus on youths and women to drive the process of agribusiness transformation; Deploying innovations and technology in Agribusiness.
Earlier in her Opening Remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charity Aremu emphasized the importance of the webinar to the pursuit of the University’s agrarian vision, noting the urgency towards its realization. She asserted that there is need to explore the diversity in agriculture which involves the value chain to chart a way forward, noting that it is the business in agriculture that sustains people’s interest. She advocated the application of technology to agriculture in order to meet the food needs of the growing population of Nigeria. She encouraged participants to get ready to be challenged and propelled to actions towards engaging the business in agriculture for the nation’s economic transformation.
The Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr Olayinka Alabi, who was the host of the 34th Webinar, welcomed every participant as she expressed joy over the impact of the theme not only on the participants but also the University and the nation of Nigeria.
The Director of LUCRID, Dr Oluwasogo Dada put into perspective the 34th webinar in his prologue, noting how pivotal it was to the vision quest of the University. He, therefore, stressed that efforts towards agricultural revolution in the country must not be lip-serviced but genuinely and collectively tackled. He joined his voice with the Vice-Chancellor to appreciate the proprietor base led by the Chancellor, Dr David Oyedepo for creating a platform that drives a national transformative agenda with unwavering commitment in hope that the impact would be massive.
A cross-section of participants at the 34th LUCRID Webinar
Dr Adelaja Adesina advocating agribusiness as a solution to Nigeria’s economic challenge at the 34th LUCRID Webinar
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charity Aremu speaking on the theme of the 34th Webinar
The Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Dr Olayinka Alabi welcoming participants onsite and online to the 34th Webinar.
The Director of LUCRID, Dr Oluwasogo Dada giving the prologue of the 34th Webinar
Professor Enoch Oyawoye of the College of Agricultural Sciences contributing to the 34th LUCRID Webinar
Dr Ayeni of the College of Agricultural Sciences contributing to the 34th LUCRID Webinar
Professor Olasunkanmi Bamiro of the College of Agricultural Sciences commenting on the theme of the 34th LUCRID Webinar.
Dr Temitope Alori of the College of Agricultural Sciences giving the vote of thanks at the 34th LUCRID Webinar
Dr Abiodun Joseph of the College of Agricultural Sciences reading the citation of the presenter at the 34th LUCRID Webinar
Mr Babatunde Falana of the College of Agricultural Sciences moderating the 34th LUCRID Webinar
A group photograph of participants (onsite) of the 34th LUCRID Webinar