From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Women Enterprise Alliance (WENA), has suggested an overhaul of archaic agricultural curriculum and replaced with modern technology, to boost food sufficiency.
WENA also advocated gender mainstreaming which will ensure food security through the formation of a gender-friendly technology with local content.
The suggestions were contained in a communique signed by its Founder, Aisha Babangida, after a 2-day summit in Abuja and entitled: ‘Rethinking Paradigm Shift in Agriculture and Initiatives to Enhance Food Security.’
The event was attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar; and Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu, among others.
Babangida said: “There is a need for accelerated political will to drive the implementation of Agricultural related policies.
“The Government should invest in green-house technologies to enhance learning on agricultural innovations
“There is a need for renewed investments in Research and Development, in promoting food security and agricultural sustainability.
“There is a need for concerted efforts from agricultural stakeholders and the ecosystem to create a viable agriculture marketplace and e-commerce platform.
“Agricultural students in high institutions should be exposed to innovative agricultural practices – such as smart farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, etc.
“There is a need to bridge the gap between Development Finance Institutions and Small holder farmers to improve access to finance for scalability.
“The adoption of innovation in agriculture should be a function of geography, scalability, and sustainability.
“Government and stakeholders should invest in locally fabricated materials to enhance the scalability and acceptability of innovative technology in agriculture.
“There is a need for universities to provide practical training to students on modern technologies and agricultural best practices.
“There is a need for continuous interactions through e-platforms to allow for continuous learning and experience sharing. Adoption of Smart agricultural practices is essential for enhanced food security.
“There is a need for the development of efficient water harvesting technology to ensure food security. There is an urgent need to develop efficient agricultural precision technology for improved crop quality and profitability.
“Community-based seed and seedling production strategies should be embraced to improve the seed supply system for economic growth.”
She added that, “there is a need to update the agricultural curriculum to include modern precision technology to make agriculture attractive to youths. Integrated farming should be embraced for agricultural sustainability.
“There is a need to ensure a community-based agroforestry system for carbon trading. There is a need for gender-segregated digital data for all value chains.
“Right-based management system is essential to allow for the sustainable management of water resources.
“It is essential for Agribusinesses to maximize the opportunity available locally and globally by leveraging technological platforms. There is a need to develop local market and market information systems.
“Government, and Non-Government Organizations should invest in creating a database of the various agricultural ecosystems.
“There is a need to adopt smart agricultural practices to improve resilience, increase productivity and mitigate climate change.
“There is a need to adjust the existing curriculum to include innovative agriculture.”