Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President African Development Bank (AfDB) has declared its readiness to provide evidence-based solutions to the myriads of challenges facing Nigeria’s agriculture and food systems.
He said that the summit provided the opportunity to have frank and open-hearted dialogues with all the critical stakeholders in the sector.
Adesina, who was represented by Dr Martins Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry of the bank said the theme of the summit was timely and critical to tackle the problems confronting the agriculture sector.
“We cannot continue to practice the art and science of farming as usual but Africa must now treat farming as a lucrative business.
“That is business capable of creating sustainable wealth and prosperity; generate decent employments for African youths; provide raw materials for the agro-industries and nutritious foods for the growing population.
“To achieve these goals, strategic alliances and partnerships are needed amongst all the critical operators in the agriculture and food value chains,” he said.
According to him, more than 80 per cent of the country’s total agricultural production and cultivation come from small holder farmers with low technological base and high reliance on manual labour.
“Nigeria’s agricultural sector has huge potential in terms of comparative advantage to produce diverse crops and abundant available water resources for irrigated farming,” he said.
Adesina however assured that the banks would support the government to grow the agriculture sector.