From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
The Chief Agricultural Economist, African Development Bank (ADB), Abidjan, Dr Jonas Chianu, has declared that Impactful technologies and innovations that could lead to agricultural transformation in Nigeria are available and ready for application.
Dr Chianu made the disclose Wednesday at a public lecture organised by the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He spoke on the topic “Harnessing Technologies and innovations for Agricultural Transformation: What should Nigeria do Right?”
The ADB scribe said that the bane of agricultural transformation in Nigeria was not a lack of new technologies and innovations but the adaptation of the new methods by farmers.
He listed some of the impactful technologies that could transform the Nigerian agricultural system to include: efficient small-scale irrigation, climate-smart agriculture, biofortification and digital agriculture through weather advisory to farmers.
Chianu said that the Green Revolution in Asia and Latin America was not a miracle but was enforced through technology that could be replicated in Nigeria. ‘There is need to learn from the real enabler – public investments in infrastructure,’ he said.
Citing examples of countries that had leveraged technology to enforce agricultural transformation, Dr Chianu mentioned the use of a closed system of farming to increase tomatoes productivity in Spain, the use of water-efficient maize in Southern Africa and the use of heat-tolerant wheat varieties in Ethiopian and Sudan.
Chianu urged the government to deal with the challenges of insecurity, religious strife, unfavourable regulatory and legal environment in order to give way for a meaningful agricultural transformation in the country.
In his remarks, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, UNN, Prof Augustine Ani, said that the faculty aims to use the lecture series as a platform to showcase current research, policies and programmes of institutions and government that are aimed at boosting agriculture and food security in Nigeria.
‘The purpose of the lecture series is to advance knowledge of cutting edge research and practices that will feed into agricultural policies and planning in the country,’ he said.
Prof Ani said that the lecture series was critical towards realising the agricultural transformation policy of the Federal Government.
Participants in the virtual lecture were drawn from the academia, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, IFAD Value Chain Development Program; Agricultural Transformation Agenda Programmes (ATAPS-1), among others.
The Chairman of the Local organising Committee, Dr Anthony Onyekuru Nwajesus, said that the discussion generated by the lecture will continue offline until the next lecture in the series.