There is a need to adopt agriculture mechanisation to enhance crop productivity to feed the growing population, Country Manager/CEO, Dizengoff Nigeria Mr. Antti Ritvonen, has said.
Speaking during a Farmers’ Field day held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Ritvonen said Nigeria can feed itself, Africa and other regions of the world, provided mechanisation is combined with knowledge-based best practices in modern agriculture.
He noted that it was difficult for agriculture to develop, if it is not industrialised and mechanised.
He said there was the need to train farmers on modern agriculture and efficient resource management.
The participants were exposed to various innovations in agricultural mechanisation and technologies. These included greenhouse technology, drip irrigation, cost effective tractors, selective weed control chemicals and battery powered sprayer and irrigators.
Special Adviser to the Kwara State governor on Agriculture & Rural Water Support Services, Anu Ibiwoye, said agriculture was top on the state’s agenda, adding that the goal is to move the state from subsistence food production to commercial agriculture by exploring opportunities in cashew, shea butter nuts and cassava production.
Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Simeon Opowoye, added that manual agriculture was ineffective, expensive, intensive and extensive, making it irrelevant in the modern age of food production, industrial raw materials requirements.
Integrated Project Country Manager, Greenhouse unit of Dizengoff, Oscar Walumbe, said: “Greenhouses help to bridge the gap between weather extremes to stabilise vegetable production.”
He advised farmers not to produce what they like but what the market demands, saying greenhouses help farmers to use less resources but get greater higher returns on investment.