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‘Nigerian farmers are technology illiterate’

…Agri-Tech, way forward for Nigeria, declares Borofice

By Emmanuel Elebeke

THE declining oil revenue means that Nigeria desperately needs to diversify into other promising sectors. Sectors the nation considers vibrant enough to sustain the economy include  Technology and Agriculture.

As it turns out, both sectors complement each other. The problem, however, is that policy makers appear to have failed to make policies that could create synergy for both sectors. This oversight has created a knowledge gap particularly between farmers and the technology they need to improve their yields.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, is disturbed by the situation and feels that a synergy between agriculture and technology can sufficiently turn the economy around. Boroffice, who was a guest at the 2017 technology and innovation expo in Abuja, weekend, lamented that most Nigerian farmers are technology illiterates and, therefore, can not maximise the potentials that have helped to transform other economies.

Indigenous technology

He said that a country that can no longer depend on oil cannot afford to have its farmers being ignorant of indigenous technology, which has led to their failure to maximise their potentials. According to him, “the country can no longer depend on oil due to its volatility in the international market, rather the three focal sectors for increased revenue generation, job and wealth creation will be technology, agriculture and solid minerals.”

Mechanised Agricuture

He charged his colleagues at the National Assembly to give all necessary support to relevant ministers in these sectors to succeed.

While declaring the event open, President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Federal Government will encourage technology investors who want to manufacture goods in Nigeria and are willing to transfer their technology to Nigeria with incentives.

The President, who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said time has come for Nigeria to close all technology gaps which he believed had existed for too long. He said his administration will support the Technology Acquisition Promotion Initiative and declared that the journey to Nigeria’s greatness lies in the deployment of science, technology and innovation.

Also, chairman House Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Beni Lar, admitted that the science and technology sector requires a good dose of regenerative therapies to engender growth in the economy. Lar argued that Nigeria must maximise its potentials to overcome its developmental challenges and the negative impact of low science and technological development in the country, if every hand is on deck to digitise Nigeria

She said: “No other sector of the economy readily presents itself for growth and development than science and technology. Nigeria cannot afford to be left out in the global advancement of science and technology.”

For the Director of the National Space Research Development Agency, NARSDA, Dr. Saidu Mohammed: “Nigeria has the potential required to become globally competitive in the space sector.

“For instance, my agency came to this Expo with a N5 billion worth of super computer. The new device, was wholly fabricated and manufactured locally by the space agency for aerial computing and industrial research”.

He, however, explained that the device when deployed can also be used in major agriculture applications such as carrying out mid-term review for soil moisture to enable farmers carry out proper and timely irrigation of their farm lands.



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