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Food Security: Former LCCI Chairman wants South-West states to leverage on agrictech

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Mr Wale Oyekoya, a former Chairman of Agriculture and Non-Oil Sector, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has called on South-Western states to synergise to develop agriculture technology.

Oyekoya told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos that technology application and adoption in agricultural processes was the only way out of food insecurity globally.

The agriculturist also said that when technology is applied to agricultural production, trillions of Naira could be realised from oil palm, rice, cassava and other commodities.

According to Oyekoya, state governments can ease farmer’s access to agrictech through innovation of Research and Development (R&D).

He said agriculture technology was the way out of food security all over the world, but regretted that Nigeria was still behind.

Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states should form a synergy in terms of agrictech sharing to proffer more solutions to the agriculture business.

“The three states have business savvy executives with wide experience in corporate organisations.

“As such, they should not shy away from transferring and sharing technology among them,’’ he said.

He explained that Lagos did not have much land for agriculture but Ogun and Oyo states do.

Oyekoya added that Ogun, sandwiched between Lagos and Oyo, had a peculiar advantage to benefit from the neighbouring states.

He said a smart state executive would consider mechanised agriculture to be able to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

“This is akin to presidency declaring state of emergency in the agriculture sector.

“Agrictech can be applied to both livestock and crop farming, especially in the value chain aspect,” Oyekoya told NAN.

“Nigeria has no business in importing any farm produce that can be produced in Nigeria.

“Every state, including Abuja, has comparative advantage on agricultural production and improving on  their agro processing cottage industry,’’ Oyekoya said.

Oyekoya also said that there was the need to appoint technocrats who understood the importance of agrictech in ensuring food sufficiency and security to direct the affairs of the state agriculture sector.

He explained that agrictech starts from land clearing to planting, applying insecticides and pesticides, harvesting, storage, agro processing, value chain, warehousing, marketing and export.

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