By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research Institute (IAR&T), Ibadan, Professor James Adediran has declared that agriculture should be operated as a business in Nigeria if the Federal Government is to diversify the nation’s economy through agriculture.
Professor Adediran stated this at a ‘One day workshop organized for young agro-entrepreneurs on management and marketing strategies for small agricultural enterprises’
The IAR&T Director said there is also the need to encourage young entrepreneurs, adding that “growing need to diversify and grow our economy through agriculture demands that agriculture be operated as a business.
He stressed that to achieve the much needed diversification of Nigeria economy, there is the urgent need for training and encouragement for the young and intending farmers in the area of agriculture considering their population and potentials therein.
“This all important training workshop is targeted at re-orientating ourselves towards taking agriculture as business. It is thus pertinent to build capacity of our existing and emerging farmers in this regards”he said.
One of the resource persons at the workshop, Dr. Jelili Saka declared that at the end of the training, there will be evaluation where about 10 outstanding young farmers will be empowered in their chosen line of business.
Speaking on the topics ‘Agricbusiness and value chain in the Nigerian industry and ‘Practical guides establishing and managing small agric enterprises’, Dr Saka called on the participants to seek for more knowledge in agriculture while considering the benefits,adding that the 10 lucky ones will be re-train, empower and set them up with empowerment tools and kits in the areas of livestock, maize production, grain legumes such as cowpea and soybean.
About 120 young farmers and other intending farmers from Oyo, Osun and Ogun states were trained in various methods such as agricbusiness and value chain, exploirable potentials in the country, agricultural macheneries, practical guides in establishing and managing small agric enterprises, farm level record keeping and accounting, marketing strategies for small agricultural enterprises as well as potentials of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in agric marketing.