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Absence Of Technology Innovations Hindering Growth In Agric Sector—Tijani

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy Bosun Tijani has called for vast digital innovation in the agricultural sector.

Tijani said the sector, although a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), lacks the potential to harness the Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector of the economy, which is a major revenue venture of most countries.

He made the call in commemoration of World SMEs Day in Abuja, adding that the Agric sector has been able to report growth in its crop production unit of the sector, which he said was not substantial as more investment and development could be harnessed in other segments of the economy.

The agricultural sector has four major subsector, which are Crop production, Livestock, Fishery and Forestry.

THE WHISTLER had earlier reported that over the last seven years, Nigeria’s agricultural sector contributed a total of N257.28tn to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However, the contribution was mostly spiked by crop production by 83.66 per cent, with livestock, fishery and forestry contributing 16.34 per cent.

Addressing that deficiency, Tijani said, “If you pay attention to the Nigerian economy, you will probably know that productivity is one major challenge that the government is trying to fix.

“How do we raise productivity in each of our sectors, how do we make sure that we reach the potential that we have, these are the issues.

“If we look at our GDP numbers, the three sectors that we technically measure. We have agriculture, manufacturing, industry and also services.

“So, if you look deeper into the numbers, as we go into agriculture first, I think the only area where you’ve been quite flat on maybe some growth is in crop production.

“So if you look at things like livestock, we’ve not done well. There is forestry that we have potential we have not done well. And it’s the same across all our sectors”.

Speaking on taking agriculture as a side hustle despite his ministerial position, Tijani explained further the importance of using technology to drive growth in the sector within a short period.

He said, “I took a farm just about when I was appointed, a 250 hectares. Well, my farm is while away in Ogun states.

“When we spread our herbicide, or carry out fertilization, we use drones. And what will typically take a number of us in Nigeria two, to five weeks to do, we can do within a couple of hours.

“So, if we truly must achieve our potential as a nation, we have to prioritize innovation across all those sectors. And there’s absolutely no way we can drive innovation in agriculture”.

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