There is a need for accelerated political will to drive the implementation of agricultural related policies through renewed investments in research and development that will promote food security and agricultural sustainability.
This was the part of the recommendations brought forward by stakeholders at a 2-day conference of the Women Enterprise Alliance (WENA) in Abuja on rethinking paradigm shift in agriculture and initiatives to enhance food security in Nigeria.
In a communique issued yesterday, WENA founder, Aisha Babangida and other stakeholders appealed to the government to foster agricultural development and innovation through increased investments in agricultural research centres, extension programmes to accelerate food security.
Some recommendations by the stakeholders include; the need to invest in green-house technologies to enhance learning on agricultural innovations, creation of a viable agriculture marketplace and e-commerce platform, exposing agricultural students to innovative agricultural practicessuch as smart farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics and the need for the development of efficient water harvesting technology to ensure food security.
Others are; the need to adjust the existing curriculum to include innovative agriculture, adoption of smart agricultural practices to improve resilience, increase productivity and mitigate climate change, creating a database of the various agricultural ecosystems and community-based seed and seedling production strategies be embraced to improve the seed supply system for economic growth.
The communique further read, “There is a need to bridge the gap between development finance institutions and small holder farmers to improve access to finance for scalability, the adoption of innovation in agriculture should be a function of geography, scalability, and sustainability government and stakeholders should invest in locally fabricated materials to enhance the scalability and acceptability of innovative technology in agriculture”.