Unilorin Don Advocates Comprehensive Agric Policy to Maintain Low Inflation, Stabilise Economy

Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

A professor of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management in the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Opeyemi Ayinde, at the weekend canvassed for comprehensive policy on agricultural surplus management so as to maintain low inflation rates and stabilise the country’s economy.

Ayinde also called for collaboration among the government, private institutions, and farmers’ associations to encourage farmers to absorb excess agricultural output during times of surplus and ensure its distribution to the appropriate sectors, thereby curbing inflation.

Delivering the 251st inaugural lecture of the university, titled: ‘The risk of not taking risk in agricultural innovation and gender inclusivity’, the don emphasizsed the importance of governance systems that promote transparency, accountability, and resilience in the agriculture sector, creating a conducive environment for risk awareness and management.

According to her, “There is an urgent need to prioritise agricultural risk management and gender inclusivity in Nigeria.

“Implementing these strategies can drive substantial growth in the agricultural sector, empower farmers, and lead to increased agricultural productivity and resilience to market fluctuations.”

Ayinde also stressed the importance of taking risks in agriculture innovation and promoting gender inclusivity, as well as dissemination and adoption of innovation, and substantial growth in Nigeria’s agriculture sector while empowering farmers.

One of the key recommendations Ayinde highlighted was the promotion of financial innovation and access to credit for small-scale farmers, creating financial products tailored to farmers’ needs and increasing access to agricultural credit, adding that such strategies would go a long way of helping  the farmers to better manage financial risks and invest in their operations, ultimately increasing productivity and resilience to market fluctuations.

Ayinde also suggested the introduction of innovative financial solutions such as index-based insurance.

Another recommendation she highlighted was the provision of information and training for farmers.

“By enhancing access to information and providing training programmes, farmers can make more informed decisions and implement strategies to manage risks effectively.

“These programmes can also empower farmers to adopt best practices and innovative technologies, enhancing their risk management capabilities,” she noted.

Professor Ayinde also stressed the importance of diversification of income sources as a crucial risk management strategy.

According to her, “Encouraging farmers to diversify their investments in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors can reduce the impact of individual risk factors.”

The don, therefore, emphasised the need to involve both male and female farmers in the selection and development of agricultural innovations to ensure equitable access to resources and technology.

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