By Abimbola Joseph
CITIZENS COMPASS – AN agriculture expert, Mrs Tolulope Aina, has urged the Federal Government to strengthen and prioritise agricultural sector to effectively contribute to overall economic development and food security in Nigeria.
Aina, who is the Founder, Agrolearn, stated this in an interview with Citizens Compass on Wednesday, in LAGOS State.
“It is essential to implement additional measures to ensure long-term sustainability to boost agricultural sector for food security and create jobs in the country,”she said.
According to her, policy support and climate resilience would pave way for a thriving and inclusive agricultural sector aligned with the President Bola Tinubu’s vision in improving food security in Nigeria.
She urged government to facilitate easy access to affordable credit and establishing specialised agricultural financing programs to stimulate investment, modernise farming practices, and enhance overall productivity within the sector.
Aina urged FG to invest in rural infrastructure, including irrigation systems, rural roads and storage facilities to enable efficient transportation of produce, reduce post-harvest losses and strengthen agricultural value chains as part of measures to improve the sector.
She stressed the need for the establishment of robust market networking for farmers and agribusinesses by setting up agricultural marketing boards and improving market information systems to connect producers with buyers, processors and exporters.
According to her, government should offer comprehensive training programs and technical assistance to farmers, extension workers, and other stakeholders to enhance their skills, knowledge, and adoption of best practices across various agricultural domains.
“They should invest in agricultural research and development to improve crop varieties as well as develop resilient farming systems and enhance overall productivity.
“They should collaborate with research institutions and international organisations to foster innovation within the agricultural sector,”she said.
Aina urged government to implement policies and regulatory frameworks that support agricultural growth, value addition and market access.
She called for enabling environment to address issues of land tenure, trade barriers, food safety and quality standards in agricultural sector.
The expert urged government to prioritise climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in agriculture to help farmers mitigate the impacts of climate change.
She advised government to create awareness and promote climate-smart farming practices and water management techniques to enhance resilience in farming operations.