Mr. Francis Toromade, the Director-General, Premier Agribusiness Academy, on Monday, said there was need to bridge the gap between agriculture and agribusiness as a tool for profitability and food sufficiency.
Toromade told a news conference in Lagos that for agribusiness to become profitable in Nigeria, farmers had to acquire cognitive skills and knowledge of human capital development.
He said that marketing and sales of agricultural products as well as logistics and supply chain management through continuous training and learning was greatly important.
The agribusiness consultant applauded the Federal Government for its food self-sufficiency initiative and move towards diversifying the economy from crude oil to Agriculture, while noting that no nation could survive without local food production.
Toromade, who is also a facilitator in Lagos Business School, however, said that for Nigeria to realise this vision, there must be significant increase in local food production cutting across livestock, crop and aquaculture.
According to him, agriculture has the ability to contribute significantly to the overall development of the nation’s economy and Gross Domestic Products (GDP) if effectively and efficiently managed.
Toromade explained that there was a huge difference between agriculture and agribusiness, saying that what makes agriculture a business was its ability to generate profit and contribute significantly to the economy.
He added that until farmers began to see agriculture as a business venture and invest in acquiring the managerial knowledge needed to boost production and ensure profitability, food self-sufficiency for Nigeria might remain a mirage.
He said: “The key is agribusiness. It is not enough to know the technical aspect of agriculture or study agriculture in school. To become successful and profitable in agriculture, there is need for farmers to acquire knowledge of the business side of agriculture which is what Premier Agribusiness Academy offers.
“All over the world, people are no longer talking about agriculture, the stress is on agribusiness because that is where profit lies.
“For farmers to be profitable, they need to acquire knowledge of strategies to market their products and effectively manage their human, capital and material resources. All these competences are what the academy offers in its courses.”
According to him, the vision of Premier Agribusiness Academy is to transfer well researched and innovative competences required for sustainable investments in the non-allied industries of the agriculture sector to farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institution offers short executive courses, poultry management courses, aquaculture management and consultancy services to farmers.
He urged farmers to take advantage of the academy’s forthcoming training on “Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills for Decision Making” coming up on Oct. 5, at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, to further increase their knowledge in agribusiness management.
He said the academy was willing to collaborate with major players in the agribusiness value chain both locally and internationally to assist farmers’ quest for knowledge to grow their businesses. (NAN)