For the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government to serve the needs of the people, it should encourage the adoption of and commercialization of research findings in an effort to boost food output in the country, the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers has said.
According to its national chairman, Babatunde Adewumi there should be a synergy between the universities, research institutes and industries in solving the agricultural mechanization challenges of the country to enhance the success of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
Speaking in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital at end the of the 14th international conference and 34th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE) said appropriate processing, preservation and storage facilities should be developed at commercial level and adopted for value addition to reduce postharvest losses and achieve food and economic security entrenched in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
“Agricultural engineers should be innovative and build entrepreneurial skills to be able to create jobs and be employers of labour to check poverty in the land and make agriculture solve the problem of mass unemployment,’’ he said.
According to him, the national centre for agricultural mechanization should also be encouraged to perform its role more effectively through increased funding to enable it fulfill its mandate especially in the area of standardization of agricultural machinery and equipment and tractor imported into the country.
The body expressed dismay over the absence of a policy on agricultural mechanization in the country adding that the country ‘’cannot boast f food security’’ while the increasing food importation into the country ‘’is not acceptable , not sustainable fiscally, economically or politically.’’
According to him, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) as it is today cannot be fully accomplished without effective impact of the agricultural mechanization component and deliberate intervention and collaboration with agricultural engineers.
He called for the use of agricultural waste management to create wealth in the country is at its infinitesimal level adding that while agricultural waste can contribute to the national integrated power programme.
SOURCE –Businessday Newspaper
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