Africa’s first agric electronic centre launched

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FarmKonnect Agribusiness Nigeria has launched the first Agricultural Electronic Extension Service Centre on African soil in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, Nigeria.

According to the organisation, the effort is to change the digital-data narrative of Africa’s agricultural system to bring it at par with international standard while also improving agricultural efforts and rewards for farmers.

The organisation said the Agricultural Electronic Centre, to be located in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital city will promote agriculture in Nigeria and Africa at large by producing a generation of smart-farmers who are data-conscious and can make data-driven decisions in their respective endeavors in the agricultural value chains.

The centre which was officially inaugurated by Governor Seyi Makinde, during a ceremony held at the international headquarters of FarmKonnect Agribusiness Nigeria Plc, Bashorun, Ibadan.

Recall that, Ibadan had recorded many firsts in Nigeria and Africa, by being the first city to host the first university in Nigeria – University of Ibadan, first television station in Africa – Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), first skyscraper in Nigeria – Cocoa House, among others.

The ceremony was witnessed by top government functionaries among other dignitaries, including Chief of Staff to the Oyo State governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka, who represented Governor Seyi Makinde; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security in Ekiti State, Dr. Olabode Adetoyi, and his counterpart in Osun State, Mr. Adedayo Adewole; Head of Sub-Saharan Agribusiness in Africa for International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Debo Akande, who also doubles as the Director-General, Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA); Southwest Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi; and Chief Executive Officer of FarmKonnect, Azeez Oluwole.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), commercial banks, and international community were also represented by powerful delegations at the ceremony, which showcased how to address food insecurity in the country, by moving into the next phase of modern day agriculture, which is the practice of precision agriculture and climate-smart farming towards driving food security and nutrition through real estate of modern technologies and methodologies to eradicate hunger.

Speaking at the occasion, Makinde, who lauded the company for coming up with the idea that can help to eradicate hunger promised that his administration would ensure creation of conducive atmosphere for private sector to thrive in the state.

The Southwest Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, commended FarmKonnect, saying the company is executing the three vision of the ministry in revolutionising agricultural practice in Nigeria.

Similarly, the Director-General of OYSADA, Dr. Debo Akande, said: “I believe this is the first of its kind in the whole of Nigeria.”

The CEO of FarmKonnect, Azeez Oluwole, noted: “It is high time we looked towards deliberate and aggressive collaborative investments into food security. Food insecurity will lead to scarcity, scarcity breeds conflict, conflict is the father of war. We may build other sectors as safety nests, but if hunger takes away our security, the safety nest will be plundered.”

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