Reviving Nigerian Agricultural sector through mechanization, technology


File Photo: Nigerian farmers

Nigeria’s agric-tech firm, YEELDA has said the agric sector must make a critical turn to use of technology both mechanical and ICT to fully take advantage of the country’s agricultural potential.

The CEO of the company made this known during the Nigeria Agricultural Mechanization Exhibition held in Ogun state from the 16th to 18th of February, 2022.

The event was organized to connect equipment manufacturers, equipment vendors, mechanization service providers, financial institutions, policymakers, and key government officials in the agribusiness value chain in Nigeria with the aim of facilitating collaboration and delivering solutions that will help leverage technology, network market, and attract structured and innovative financing for agribusiness in Nigeria.

The event was duly attended by delegates of the Vice President of The Republic of Nigeria Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Executive Governor of Ogun State Prince Dr Dapo Abiodun, the Honorable Minister of Agriculture Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar and the MD Wema Bank Plc Mr Ademola Adebise.

Pivotal players such as the President of TOHFAN (Tractor Owners and Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Garba Danladi and the Honorable Commissioner of Industry, Trade and Investment Ogun State, Mrs Kikelomo Longe were also in attendance.

Speaking on the occasion of the event, Yeelda’s Chief Executive, Gbolahan Opeodu, said, “Nigeria is blessed with a very considerable amount of arable land with its full potential yet to be gainfully utilized.” He also posited that agriculture was a bedrock to alleviating a number of socio-economic challenges not least being unemployment and food security.

“It’s time to move our agriculture endeavours forward by not only using mechanized farming but also by adopting demand-driven precision farming using ICT (information and Communication Technology).

This combination brings about even greater efficiency and productivity especially when paired with the use of improved varieties. We are always striving to continually bring value to the space in a number of ways including mechanization, exemplified by the recently concluded project in Ekiti where we spearheaded the land clearing and preparation of virgin land in record time while ensuring not to damage the quality of the topsoil or the larger environment.”

Speaking further he said, “Yeelda is working towards being a bridge to help actors surmount some of the challenges present in the space by building an ecosystem that is leveraging technology and presenting solutions through the value chain, from land preparation to unparalleled access to markets. “

Recently, YEELDA worked at the Ikun Dairy Farm in Ekiti State in collaboration with Promasidor Nigeria Limited and the Ekiti State Government. The agriculture and technology-centric organisation was tasked with the job of clearing 250 hectares of land in the first instance at the Ikun Dairy Farm while maintaining the integrity of the topsoil.

Initially established in the 1980s, the Ikun Dairy Farm spans over 1,000 hectares of land. However, this is the first time the Ekiti state government will have an opportunity of running the farm in a joint venture with Promasidor Nigeria Limited.

It is set up for the production of livestock and the creation of raw materials for dairy products. To achieve such an undertaking, it was essential that livestock grazing areas were planted and appropriate land clearing activities were executed with precision and Yeelda’s involvement was essential to the success.

The paucity of Agricultural Mechanization and Technology in Nigeria is creating paralysis in the nation’s economy. Therefore, we need to build sustainable models that can contribute significantly to the development of value chains and food systems.

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