Prof. Michael Faborode, on Thursday advocated for development of local technology in the country as the fastest way to the development of agriculture.
Faborede, a retired Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) made the call at the 2nd Annual Engr. Kashim Ali Distinguished Lecture Series.
The lecture titled: Agricultural Mechanisation and Food Production for Youth Empowerment: Engineering Sustainable Development, was organised by the Auchi branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), in collaboration with Edo University, Iyamho.
He said home grown mechanisation and value addition were critical ingredients in transforming the Nigerian agricultural sector.
“Industrialisation is fuelled locally hence local ingenuity must be encouraged. Every nation builds technologies based on their local demands.
“India imports less than 5 per cent of all the components that goes into the production of its tractors.
“Majority of the work is done and sourced locally. Hence, President Muhammadu Buhari is on the right path in stressing that we should source our raw materials and technologies locally.
Faborode also called for the development of agricultural value chains and their consolidation to boost the overall productivity of farmers, and strengthen the viable agribusiness industry and culture emerging gradually.
The former lecturer OAU, said improvement in the agricultural and food productivity in all sector, and reduction in food losses and waste were part of the specific goals to a viable agricultural recovery initiative.
He listed others to include enhancing energy conservation and efficiency by developing adaptable renewable energy and improvement in water availability, conservation, and efficient use.
Faborode said as part of the initiative, the country must leverage on modern technology and emerging technological movements to attract and sustain youths in agriculture and agricultural value chains.
“The task has become more urgent with the growing population, a considerable number of who are youths, who need to be gainfully employed in modern agriculture and agro-industries as proud, fulfilled and successful entrepreneurs, farmers and industrialists.
“The inescapable conclusion is that the future of Nigerian agriculture resides in entrepreneurship, engineering technology and the youth.”
Earlier, the President of the NSE, Mr Adekunle Mokuolu, expressed worry over the growing hungry population within the sub-Saharan region.
He said the application of technology in agricultural development would not only boost food production, but would create jobs opportunities for the youths.