True progress in agriculture can be actualised if more farm products are industrially processed and post-harvest losses are minimised.
The Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, Professor Francis Otunta, has said.
He challenged universities and agricultural research institutes to double efforts on capacity development, human capital development and the availability of requisite skills for adequate utilisation of local agricultural raw materials to make the import substitution policy a reality.
He advocated the use of mechanisation, improved planting materials and new technologies, saying these would guarantee productivity per hectare and higher gross domestic product.
The government and private business concerns should encourage the emergence of agro-processing industries in rural areas close to the urban centers, saying the government should specifically encourage this development by the provision of infrastructure such as good roads.