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Investment in agric tech hits N2.5tr as firm discusses sector’s growth

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Technology giant, Tingo, yesterday, canvassed the deployment of sophisticated technologies to leapfrog the growth of nation’s agricultural sector as investment agriculture-related technology hits $6.7 billion (about N2.5 trillion) in the past five years.

Though the contribution from the sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 24.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, doing better than the previous quarter and the same quarter last year, according to National Bureau of Statistics, Tingo, a Nigeria firm operating in US, UK and other countries noted that the contribution would significantly increase if robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology and others were deployed to the sector.

“These advances will let businesses be more profitable, efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly,” Group Chief Executive of Tingo International Holdings Inc, Dozy Mmobuosi, said.

He added that although Nigeria’s agricultural sector was largely dominated by subsistence farming, improved seedlings, modern farming methods and better weather forecasting could increase agricultural yields.

He said: “There is increasing recognition from agriculture corporations that solutions are needed for these challenges. In the last five years, agriculture technology has seen a huge growth in investment, with $6.7b invested over that time and $1.9b in the last year alone. We aim to support the farmers in Nigeria with the latest technology to allow their farms to generate higher yields and reduce post-harvest losses…”

better understand weathers trends, the latest knowledge and information of the latest farming practices and improved seedlings.”

According to him, a digital platform for agribusiness, Nwassa, built by the company could help farms of any size access global agricultural markets for their crop.

The group also assist farmers and cooperatives with packaging, warehousing, and cargo logistics as well as agritech, fintech and extension services such as digital wallets, that enable businesses to send and receive domestic payments, monitor cash flow in real time and securely hold money.

Mmobuosi noted that the would accelerate as new technology is developed and as economies of scale becomes more affordable for smaller farms.

Stressing on the projected population explosion of Nigeria and other countries, Mmobuosi disclosed that the agriculture sector could play an enormous role in combatting poverty and hunger in Nigeria.

“As demand for food grows with the increasing population so does the opportunity for greater employment in agriculture and the supporting sectors. The more we are able to produce in country rather than importing (Nigeria is Africa’s largest consumer and importer of rice) will make food and produce more affordable,” he said.

Recalling that Nigeria has abundant arable land and labour which, with sound policies, could be translated into increased production, incomes and food security, Mmobuosi stressed that agricultural sector needs to grow to meet the demands of a rapidly increasing population.

“As faming in rural areas becomes larger in scale and more sophisticated there is an increased need for labour which will lead to greater, consistent job opportunities and higher employment levels in the country, he stated that.

Mmobuosi sees the projected increase in work force and technology as a factor that would lead to far greater and consistent crop yields, giving farmers the option to access global markets. He called for better storage, packaging, transportation as well as processing of raw materials. The development to him would lead to far lower post-harvest losses.

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