For Nigeria to leapfrog to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Agriculture, there needs to be an activation of the knowledge-based economy and a conformation of existing technologies across every facet of the Agricultural Value Chains.
This was the resolution made at the Farm2Fork Dialogue, in a Special Plenary Session themed “Leapfrogging to the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Whiter Nigerian Agriculture?”
It was resolved that the use of sophisticated digital mechanisms, robotics, and genetics has revolutionized the agriculture sector, but Nigeria in this regard has not come to par with the technological changes.
Speaking on the need to push Nigeria towards this course, Special Adviser to the President of the Africa Development Bank on Industrialization, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka indicated that the basic requirements for a modern innovative agriculture are knowledge, power and the internet, while also adding that the components of the First to the Fourth Industrial Revolution complement each other.
He also noted that the lack of mastery of the previous revolution has put Nigeria’s agriculture in a dire situation at the moment.
In his words, “The word industry and revolution are a conformity of technologies to be applied to agriculture. The industry is not just a sector, but a collection of technologies. Moving forward, we need to perfect the basics of the First to Third industrial revolution”
On his part, Chairman of the Agricultural Trade Group, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA), Mr. Ade Adefeko, who stated that “the world has moved from Agriculture to Agribusiness” also pointed that what the agriculture sector in Nigeria needs is to perform a diagnosis towards effecting this revolution.
He said, “Right now, there is no convergence, and there is no nexus regarding transiting to this revolution and honestly our research institutions are not fit for purpose. What we need is a robust approach and a potpourri of Agric entrepreneurs to put things into perspective”
In her remarks, Ms. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, the CEO of the Rise Networks, who stated that Nigeria cannot power the Fourth Industrial Revolution out of nothing, pointed that the quality of education received by young Nigerians in this dispensation is unfit to power an industrial revolution.
“We need to power it with our knowledge economy and absorb the generation of young Nigerians into agriculture. That is the dominant narrative. We cannot drive a Fourth Industrial Revolution that is not powered by a knowledge-based economy.”
Echoing his comment, the CEO of Connectivest Nigeria, Benedict Afolami said, “The most important thing with production is to increase the profit. The idea is to reduce the cost of production and ensure that these technologies affect positively our agricultural productivity. There is also a dire need to add value to existing technologies.”