Mechanized Agriculture key to reducing food imports – FARA

The Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo has attributed the increase in importation of food into Nigeria to the use of local and crude implements by local farmers.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Akinbamijo said it was unfortunate that Nigeria still imports food after signing various declarations such as the Malapo and Maputo protocols.

In Akinbamijo words, “It is not rocket science that we are eating chicken from Netherland. I feel it is a pathetic situation here. I recall in 2003 this country hosted three conferences on agriculture and food but up till today, the country is still struggling to bridge the gap.

“We need new approaches to move forward, if we continue business as usual, no country will meet the Malabo declaration of doubling agricultural productivity by 2025.

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“So, righting this wrong is a task before IAR&T and other research institutes. FARA is the apex agricultural body in Africa. In 2003, Heads of States/ Governments made a declaration that should keep Africa. So, Africa missed out from Maputo in 2003, and quickly what we did, we ran to Malabo in 2014.”

Akinbamijo said that food production in Africa would not be able to increase if there isn’t a shift from local implements to mechanized farming.

He further stated that Africa needs to harness the potential of the fourth Industrial Revolution technologies based on innovation that include skills, infrastructure, regulations, and policies.