Some exhibitors and visitors at the recently concluded 2017 Agra Innovate West Africa, have urged government to register its presence at such events for proper policy engagements.
The participants who spoke to newsmen at the end of the 4th annual Agra Innovate West Africa expo and conference in Lagos recently, decried low government presence at the event, as they said the two-day event was a good avenue to engage with stakeholders.
The theme for this year’s expo was, “Optimising the Potential of Agricultural Value Chains and Infrastructure to Strengthen Food Security, Export Capacity and Cross Border Trade in West Africa.’’
An exhibitor and Business Development Manager from Saros Agrosciences, Mr. Olumide Ogunedojutimi, said the expo was a good ground to get closer to the farmers without going through a third party.
He added: “Our company did a survey in 2016, which showed a huge gap at the farm level on how to use our products. We had a survey that showed that farmers were having problems using our products at the farm level and we wanted to solve this problem.
“Formerly, we worked with our trade partners but our participation at this fair has proven to be a good platform. Most of our farmers have been able to ask questions and on-the-ground answers have been given.”
Mr. Humphrey Otalor, another exhibitor and Marketing Communications Manager, Dizengoff Nigeria, observed that the annual event has been consistent in its delivery, quality of visitors and organisation.
According to Otalor, “market linkages have been tremendous, quality of enquiries has been impressive and we had the right audience. Government can benefit from participation in this kind of event to get feedback on its policies from the stakeholders. Farmers need to know that what they see on the pages of newspapers concerning government policies will also be implemented consistently.’’
Earlier, the Programme Director, Mrs. Folusho Olaniyan, said that more than 3,900 participants from over 20 countries within sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States of America attended the expo in Lagos, which featured 60 exhibitors and 30 sessions on general, intellectual and technical issues.
Olaniyan said the expo was a credible networking platform for achieving their strategic organisational goals.