An agribusiness strategist and Group Managing Director of Niji Group, Dr. Kola Adeniji,has affirmed that for Nigeria to raise its head high in the committee of countries doing well agriculturally, it must change its planting and harvesting system.
Adeniji , who made this know while speaking with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Lagos, stated that the manner in which our planting system and harvesting system is done is wrong.
“As farmers in this country, you will not be able to compete favourably with your counterparts in other parts of the country if we still continue with this archaic method of planting and harvesting.
“Most of the people involved in farming in Nigeria are only known for subsistence farming. If you look at average Nigerian system now, our planting system is wrong. With our planting system, we cannot even sustain the farming operation.
“Our system of harvest is wrong. If we still continue to harvest in that system, we cannot come out of this poverty. When you look at the kind of land preparation we are using, it is not sustainable. And when you look at the processing and the value addition we are doing, we are having a lot of post-harvest losses, when you look at the logistics system on the farm, it is not sustainable, when you look at the power generation, everything is wrong. For example, in my farms, I have more than six generators I use every day”.
“So, most of my profit goes into energy and some other things because I need to sustain the farm,” he added.
He said the country is not near mechanized farming that that is why the country is still at this level agriculturally.
“For now, Nigeria is not practicing mechanized farming, we are not even practicing something closer to it at all. We are practising subsistence farming and that is why we are where we are now.
“The rating our level of mechanized farming in Nigeria is not up to five percent. That is why we are having problem because if we can practice up to 10 percent, we should be able to see the level of development we would have gotten,”.
Speaking further, he said his group does not believe we have farmers in Nigeria. That is why the group set up a system to train new farmers, new processors and new equipment fabricators.
“We believe we don’t have farmers in Nigeria. So, we set up a system to train new farmers, we set up a system to train new processors and we set up a system to train new equipment fabricators. At least, those are the things we need to do.
“We cannot say we want to practice mechanised farming and you don’t have a single tractor assembly plant in Nigeria. That is why Niji tractor is trying to put up a tractor assembly plant in Nigeria,” he said
The post Agribusiness Strategist Calls For Change In Planting Systems appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Oluseyi Taiwo-Oguntuase