S/West agric summit holds today

As stakeholders call for sub-national agric policy

The Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr Dipo Famakinwa, has assured farmers and other relevant stakeholders that the South West Agricultural Summit (SWAS), which will begin today (Thursday), is aimed at raising agricultural consciousness, which is part of keying into the diversification agenda of the Federal Government.

Speaking at a press briefing in Ibadan, recently, Famakinwa said SWAS 2016, is set to address sub-national issues affecting agriculture as well as outline action plans that will tackle the challenge farmers are facing in the South West.

“What we are doing is creating an organisational framework for a regional economy that is powered by agriculture. We are also going to create a situation where the role of the government, the supporting agencies as well as the private sector, is made clear. So, we are looking forward to placing the business of agriculture in the hands of those who are structured for it. We will see a proper framework of agriculture emerging from this summit,” he said.

With the theme Achieving an agro-powered regional economy,’ SWAS 2016, is convened by AgroNigeria in partnership with the DAWN commission, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).

According to Famakinwa, the summit will also help farmers understand the business of agriculture which is expected to create a pathway to the economic competitiveness of the South West.

Against the backdrop of Nigeria’s current economic constraints, the chief executive officer, AgroNigeria, Mr Richard-Mark Mbaram, on the occasion, noted that Nigeria has tremendous energy economically which is predominantly resident in the agricultural sector.

“The paradigm for development in agriculture had always been top down and more federal-based. So, understanding this reality, we felt that it was necessary to move things to sub-national dimension and bring agriculture and the conversation about it to the stakeholders.