Mrs Helen, an agro entrepreneur, has said that 60 per cent of the agricultural produce harvested in Nigeria are wasted.
This she said at the Hackathon agriculture oriented seminar that was held on Friday, 21st April, 2017, 11.00am, at the Lecture theatre of the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture.
She said this wastage was due to the fact that demand for the agricultural produce harvested are small compared to the supply. Also, at times when the farmers take their produce to the market to sell but are unable to sell all, they will leave them in the market to rot because of the high cost of transporting them back to the farm. She said this is very common among farmers in the north.
In her lecture titled, “Agribusiness and Diversification of Nigerian Economy”, she stated that agriculture is the second largest sector of the Nigerian economy and it is responsible for 22 per cent of the growth of the Nigerian economy. She also stated that the Nigerian population grows by 3 per cent per annum and it requires 1 million tons of chicken in a year but imports 450, 000 tons, amounting to 1.2 trillion naira.
The Hackathon seminar was organised to create an avenue through which all stakeholders of the agriculture sector could come together to provide solutions to the various problems inhibiting the growth of agriculture in Nigeria. The problems of agriculture in Nigeria identified during this seminar were in the areas of processing, infrastructure, attitude towards agriculture, capital, logistics, power, ICT and so on.
The lecturer, Mrs Helen, identified advocacy, awareness, incentive, access to market, technology, access to finance and entrepreneurial innovation as solutions to these agricultural problems. She encouraged all to become problem solvers and be always optimistic. In the end, she advised whoever wants to go into agribusiness to study the market first and consider the aim for which he wants to start he business.