Agriculture: Expert calls for effective Value-chain process

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Food Expert, Mr Uche Ikenga, has called on all in the agriculture sector to show adequate interest in the potential of value chains, to develop agriculture and contribute to food security.

He said in Lagos that agriculture value chains hold considerable promise in reducing poverty and promoting inclusive growth when the poor and other marginal groups participate in them.

Ikenga said under the right conditions, value chains can move smallholder farmers from subsistence to commercial agriculture.

There is no agriculture without an effective value chain process; in essence the value chain is the agriculture practice.

“Without a proper value chain we have not started because we find out most crops when harvested come out in large quantities and the farmer is forced to sell at any price to cut his losses.

Ikenga said the agricultural value chain approach should be made in a very flexible way that would provide opportunities for the poor because the main aim of value chains is to generate profit.

With good policies to support the poor through capacity building, the value chain can serve a means of empowering the poor and creating jobs.

“Increasing food production and subsequently reducing losses is vital to sustain agro-processing industries, currently on the rise in the country,’’ he said.

The expert said innovations are ongoing to improve the preservation of crops and improve some value chains but also called for the Federal Government’s support to boost the sector.

Modern crop protection is one area in particular where farmers must always seek to learn how to be more effective, more precise, and more efficient.

He insisted that farmers must have access to technologies and practices that are helping them achieve the goal of preservation of crops.

“While some long-standing methods remain important, scientists have provided an array of advanced technology to crop protection challenges.

“It has become necessary for Nigerian farmers to imbibe the modern culture of preservation designed as exact solution required for each crop, during each growing and harvest seasons,’’ he said.