The C.E.O. AgroNigeria, Barr. Richard-Mark Mbaram, has said that agriculture is the key tool to revamp the Nigerian economy in the face of the current economic recession. Mbaram made this known while addressing journalists during a press conference in Lagos. He noted that for agriculture to achieve the stated objective, a new paradigm shift needs to be instituted.
Mbaram explained that the current paradigm emphasises a centralised form of agriculture and noted that stakeholders have clamoured for the need of sub-national agricultural practice in the country. He therefore stressed the need for local and state governments to join forces with their federal counterpart in repositioning agriculture.
Mbaram stated that to introduce the geo-economic summit scheduled to hold on October 6, 2016. Among the six geo-economic zones, the South West will be the first to host the summit in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The South West Agricultural Summit (SWAS) 2016 is convened by AgroNigeria in partnership with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
While explaining the reasons for partnering the institutions mentioned above, Mbaram lauded the DAWN Commission which also understands the need for the paradigm shift and regional based agriculture. He appreciated the Director General, DAWN, Dipo Famakinwa, for the role he has been playing towards improving agriculture at the sub-national level.
The summit also has its focus on local farmers through their channels which includes All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN). The AgroNigeria CEO explained that it is more essential to get to the farmers through their principal officers since it will not be possible to get all the farmers in all villages of the states in the south west. He buttressed that the summit will also be replicated in the other 5 geo-economic zones.
He revealed that beyond this summit, there is the Nigeria Agriculture Observatory (NAO) Group which is private sector driven and constituted to address the issues in Agriculture and serve as a watch dog, checking Agriculture in Nigeria. According to him, the NAO consists of academic erudites and strategic players in the sector.