The Director of Grants Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB), Professor Kolawole Adebayo, has called for the acceptance of information as the fifth factor of agricultural productio?n to bridge the gap between the industry and the university.
Adebayo said this while delivering a keynote speech at a three-day capacity workshop on agricultural information systems development organised by the World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment.
He submitted that information is the only secret weapon among the factors of production and that the traditional economics have been silent over this.
Adebayo explained further that what distinguished a successful entrepreneur from a less successful one was the amount of information at an individual disposal and how such was deploy to achieve the goals.
“There are ways that traditional economics should have improved itself long time ago by bringing in information as a fifth factor of production. Today’s economics is telling us that without critical information, all the other factors of production cannot be harnessed at their best and optimally useful,” he said.
Adebayo who doubles as the Project Director of CAVA II, said people, who were into agriculture and agro-allied enterprises, could access a large body of data from agricultural production to processing to marketing to the logistics of management of movement of goods and services.
He noted that there were several distinct units of data that needed to be processed to become valuable information and cautioned that when a large body of data are scattered and abused, there would not be a coherent message.
He further said that the agricultural value chain as at today differs significantly from its traditional agricultural practices because of the central role of information.
“If you are able to transact e-businesses in agriculture, you are better-off than those that can only do cash businesses”, he added.
He described the e-wallet as an Information Communications Technology-based mechanism that allows farmers to acquire inputs and allows government to target subsidy end users.