THE Chief Marketing Officer, FarmKonnect Agribusiness in Nigeria, Mr Azeez Oluwole, has reiterated that the future of agriculture in Nigeria remains in the hands of private sector operators, saying government can only create enabling environment to make it flourish.
He added that if this can be achieved, then, greater future awaits the country in a private sector-driven agriculture that definitely solves many socio-economic problems in the country.
Oluwole made the disclosure during the end of the year review and dinner with Chief Executive Officers which held in Ibadan.
Oluwole, who further identified commercial agriculture as a major sector where countries in Africa could record major landmarks, noted that the objective of bringing owners of companies together was to network, build and strengthen their businesses.
According to him, “I know that socialization is a very important thing for the people to network, build, increase and strengthen their businesses.
“One of those things that make that happen is food, which is an agricultural business. We bring agriculture, food and commerce together because every state or nation will succeed when it takes commercial aspect of agriculture seriously.”
He said that the company was into ‘Smart Agriculture’ having understood that the future of Africa is agriculture and depended greatly on information technology, noting that they are positioning the country to maximize the opportunity.
“Smart Agriculture is using technology. Human beings make mistakes when it comes to agriculture, we therefore need automation.
“We need things that will take all your instructions, and that is computer; to have accurate information about what is happening on the field, to protect investment and increase its base,” he said.
Oluwole enumerated the performance of the company in terms of creating employment opportunity.
He said that the company started with just 10 individuals and currently having 35 staff capacity working as administrative staff apart from large number of people working on the farms as well as extension service.
“Igbeja Snail Village with potential staff strength of one thousand and Wave City Project, which its replica is currently running in Imo State.
This will take not less than two thousand people when it is launched in March with Osun State government.
“The company is in operation with support from sister companies and in partnership with many companies in Asia, Europe, America and in Nigeria,” he said.
The FarmKonnect boss confirmed that border closure affected the company’s operation, agriculture was going to be a revolution that would change the future of the country.
“Border closure is even helping us to sell our own things. The focus is to feed ourselves first. Food security and accessibility is very important.
“I am going to start it, if government is supporting fantastic, if government is dragging, I am going to start it. I need the people to understand that the future of agriculture is in the hand of private sector, even government knows that.
“It is for the government to create enabling environment, and truly this government is trying but they should try more to know more and understand more,” he said.
The future of agriculture is large especially when we begin to take intellectual youths into the business, it is going to be a great thing for us.
“Socio accessibility and economic accessibility are very important when we are talking about food security, feed home first. I am not interested in farming to take abroad now when we satisfy them at home, then we can think of exporting to other countries,” Oluwole stated.