Agriculture is key in ensuring food security, ending hunger, reducing poverty rate and in job creation, the Chief Executive Officer, Agrecourse, Ayoola Oluga, has said. The Chief Executive Officer said this during an interview with THISDAY, adding that by investing in agriculture, private companies can generate a large amount of revenue whilst also impacting the lives of small scale farmers.
According to him the private sector and the government need to let farmers see agriculture not just as a family tradition, but as a sustainable business venture.
Farmers need to be trained on how to adopt latest technologies and best practice in order to improve their yield and their operations, he added.
Oluga said, “Just like the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the government can provide loans to farmers in the form of input for production and the government should then follow up with the farmers to pay back those loans so that the same funds can be given to other farmers as loans. Also, insurance should also be put in place to hedge against losses of farm lands and farm products.
“In addition to all these, in order to enhance logistics, the government needs to construct goods and secure roads that connect the farms to the markets so as to avoid damages or losses of the farm products.
“The government has been supportive but it needs to improve on that. Some private sector players have also stepped in to play their own roles in different areas of the Agric value chain.
“I believe the private sector will be the biggest solution provider in this sector but the government needs to make policies that will engender these solutions.”