Data usage and increased technology adoption are central to the growth process of Nigeria’s agricultural sector and must be invested in, key stakeholders have said.
They made the call on Tuesday while speaking at the Trade Plenary of the Feed Nigeria Summit 2020 held at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
The Feed Nigeria Summit, hosted annually by AgroNigeria, is famed as Nigeria’s foremost agricultural sector convocation aimed at catalyzing transformational progress for the country’s agriculture.
This year’s edition of the Summit, which was themed: Agribusiness: Leading Nigeria’s Recovery, was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 1st and 2nd, 2020.
The plenary, with the theme: Technology and Data as Key Trade Galvanizers, was moderated by the Director, Planning and Policy Coordination, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Zubairu Abdullahi.
Speaking during the plenary, the Director of the NextGen Cassava Project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/ the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Prof. Chiedozie Egesi, observed that data eases the planning process.
“You fly blind without data. Data helps to answer important questions in production. What are the gaps in production? How much do we need? Who is collecting the data? What was used to collect the data, and who is utilising the data? Who is processing the data?” he quizzed.
However, the Technical Adviser on Livestock Development at FMARD, Dr S. Momale, observed that “most of our data is politicised”.
Also explaining the role of data, Executive Director of Shaldag Limited, Mr Ibukun Sorinola, stated that data plays a key role in aquaculture farming.
“Data is important to the aquaculture industry. Insufficient data limits efforts to maximise the potentials of this sector,” Sorinola said, further explaining how data helps his firm to sort its fishes and even identify each stock’s historical link.
Sorinola, who also bemoaned the lack of data in the aquaculture subsector, explained that Shaldag Limited uses its data to attract investors and even provide information on its production patterns.