Adeola Elliot, Chairman Agricultural and Allied Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Thursday urged the Federal Government to seek agricultural advancement through an integrated agriculture project.
Elliot made the appeal at the ongoing Food Nigeria 2016 conference and exhibition holding at the Eko Hotel and Suite, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The exhibition, the largest Business to Business (B2B) food industry platform in West Africa, started on May 18 and will end on May 20.
NAN observed that Nigerian food industry professionals had been interacting with more than 150 companies from across the world at the exhibition.
They were also showcasing their products ranging from food, drink, equipment, food services to hospitality there.
The chairman of the group said it was important that the government created sustainable plans to develop a vibrant agricultural sector in the current post-oil era.
“The food industry is so powerful and has the potential to re-invigorate our economy and in such a time as this when Nigeria has to fully diversify to agriculture to survive these post-oil times.
“We must also know that agriculture is very important to the further development of this country, so an integrated agricultural project must be put in place to achieve that.
“It is very important for sustainable farm management practices to be adhered to as well as using technological and traditional methods of farming in the process of cultivation,’’ he said.
Elliot added that integrated farming and extension services were paramount to an evolving economy, and Nigeria had to put several facilities in place to ensure further development of the sector.
“Government must practice integrated farming where a collective approach to agriculture will guarantee food security in Nigeria and also fortify the GDP.
“It must also look at reviving the extension agencies and agents from its recent decay, most extension services’ companies are shortchanged in terms of financial allocation so they lack resources to reach the rural farmers.
“If the government can rekindle some of these important services, then, there can be a change in the agricultural sector,’’ the chairman said.
Elliot stressed that the “Food Nigeria 2016’’ would help farmers and investors communicate better, and create a mutually-viable business for the farmers which could benefit the country. (NAN)