From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Critical stakeholders and farmers in the agricultural sector will converge in Abuja for the 2022 West Africa Agrofair on Wednesday, July 27. The event is organised to promote mechanised agriculture in the subregion.
The three-day Agrofair which is intended to achieve sustainable food security and job creation for the youths will accommodate exhibition, conference and networking programme in agriculture under the theme “Promoting sustainable economic development through mechanised agriculture”.
The West Africa Agrofair is an annual international exhibition and conference on agriculture, which will avail participants the opportunity to introduce their products and services and connect with the over 20,000 participants from various parts of Nigeria, other African Countries and across the world.
The Chairman of the Organising Committee and Facilitator, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Johnson Anene, told Daily Sun that the fair, which will hold from July 27 to 29, will accommodate exhibitions of agricultural products, equipment, tools, and other agro-related goods and services.
The fair will take place at the Abuja Trade and Convention Center, will showcase the rich agricultural services of the country and will also create consumer-manufacturer relationships and more.
It is hosted by Afrinex West Africa LTD, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and TATA International (The Exclusive Dealer of John Deere in Nigeria) in Collaboration with Abuja Trade Centre (ATC), Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development.
The agro fair is a pathway to economic development, according to Anene will reposition agriculture to attract critical stakeholders in the sector.
Alongside the exhibition, an extensive and varied Business Program awaits professional visitors and industry leaders.
“Everybody is concerned about the over-dependent on oil as the main source of our economy and there has always been this conversation on how to move away from over-dependence on oil.
“We know that the major alternative to oil is agriculture but unfortunately, our agricultural business environment is not well developed yet. We cannot talk about increasing wealth in contributing to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through agriculture without discussing mechanised farming. That is why the theme for the 2022 Agrofair is “Promoting Sustainable Economic Development through Mechanised Agriculture,” Anene explained.
He disclosed that the event is bringing on board mechanisation in the areas of farming, food processing, marketing, food storage and distribution.
“These are what we want to present at the fair and we are partnering with practitioners and various associations from the agricultural sector including All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN); Rice Farmers Association(RIFAN); Maize Farmers Association; Cassava Farmers Association and several other commodity associations, who are coming to showcase their products.
The package will also cover areas like promoting farm inputs by way of improved seedlings, fertilizers and promoting the issue of value addition through processing.
“Our packing and processing are not up to international standard. Recall how our products that were been exported to Europe were rejected because it was below International standard. It was an embarrassment.
“The packaging and processing of our agricultural products is the angle that will actually create wealth for our country and employment for our youths.
“So, the various agencies that handle things like regulations are coming to educate our farmers and even dealers of agro products, about standardisation in storage, processing and packaging.”
He further disclosed that several funding agencies will be in attendance to see how they will assist the youths and all those interested in farming including training programmes by various agricultural institutions in the country.