Stakeholders in the agriculture sector on Monday sought for economic policies that would help boost agricultural development in the country.
The stakeholders made the call at the 6th African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) Abuja 2019 Triennial conference.
The theme of the conference is: “Rising to Meet New Challenges: Africa’s Agricultural Development Beyond 2020 Vision, organised in collaboration with Nigeria Association of Agricultural Economists (NAAE).
Some of the stakeholders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that no country would survive without policies put in place to develop various sectors of the economy.
President AAAE, Mr. Edward Mabaya said that there was the need to put up policies that would make agriculture work for the over 1.2 billion people who call Africa home.
He said that the vision of AAAE was to support the capacity building activities of members to contribute to policy research and development on African agriculture.
“This is a responsibility we undertake with a strong sense of purpose, direction and determination to work with all members and affiliate organisation to spearhead major development issues affecting agriculture in Africa.’’
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Also, President NAAE, Prof. Job Nnadu called for capacity building as one of the strategies for agricultural development.
“What we are working on is to ensure that policies we draw are evidence-based and that is where the issue of credible data comes in.
“We need data that are credible and reliable so that when we do analysis; we will come out with things that are evidence-based.
“Our research must be of integrity so that people will not just publish without any verification; it must have integrity test to help ensure we go about implementing policies to get desired and targeted outcome.
“We are grooming our members to ensure that whatever they up come with is something that we can defend and must have standard.”
The Country Manager, Nigeria HarvestPlus, Mr. Paul Liona, said that such conferences were necessary to share an update on technologies on how to grow the sector.
He said that no country would survive without a very strong economic policy put in place to address various challenges facing the sector.
The manager said that the policies must have a foundation around various technologies in the country and should be applied economically to meet the needs of the people.
“For us in HarvestPlus, we are addressing economic development along the line of nutrition; seeing how nutrition can contribute to ensuring that economic policies, implementation, and management are fused in Nigeria.
“We are also working to see how to diversify the food base of the country and adding value to our food system to sustain our health,” he said.
Liona said that having access to more nutritious food would grow the nation.
The 2019 conference had in attendance leading scholars, policymakers, agribusiness representatives, development practitioners, and students, as reported by NAN.