Chairman, Board of Directors of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, has identified five core areas that should be articulated in the quest to transform the agricultural sector in Nigeria and on the African continent.
The Chairman stated this in his opening remarks at the virtual Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) organised by Sterling Bank with the theme: Fast Forward Agriculture: Exploiting the Next Revolution,” which held online this week with synchronized broadcast studios from Lagos and Abuja.
According to him, to be able to effectively transform the agricultural sector, feed the continent’s growing population, boost her economies, create massive employment for millions of its young and not so young people as well as absorb the shocks of the on-going pandemic, the involvement of key stakeholders across public and private sectors in developing the right policies to aid the growth of the agribusiness value chain must increase.
Ighodalo urged governments in sub-Saharan African economies to optimise the agricultural sector to attract sizeable investments that will help to drive expansion and achieve global competitiveness as well as increase financing to key points of the value chain, particularly small holder farmers, to modernize their practices and increase outputs.
He stressed the need to focus on the role and impact of technology and data science in stimulating innovation in the value chain and the need to understand the changing regional climate cycles, its impact on productivity and identifying necessary adjustments to deliver growth despite these climate changes.
Also speaking, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, noted that government can only help to kick start the revolution while it is the responsibility of private sector players to come together to make a success of it.
He said the government has put in place the processes, finances and researches to start the revolution in the agricultural sector and it is now about commercialising it and making it possible for the individuals and businesses to benefit from it.