Food Security: NGO organises AGRICON confab

Agribusiness Innovation International, an NGO, on Friday called on Nigerians to participate in AGRICON conference to end hunger in the country.

Mrs Stella Oraka, the Managing Director of the organisation, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

She said that the conference would h3lp address national food security, adding that it will avail farmers opportunities to meet with processors and exporters.

“Others are innovators, researchers and technologists to add value to their products,’’ she said.

She further said that the conference would focus on contemporary strategies for increasing farm yield, agricultural financing and agro-export solutions, among others.

According to her, part of the AGRICON objectives is to ensure international export standards are effectively inculcated to enhance the export potential acceptability for Nigeria agricultural produce.

“We have decided to hold the conference in Abuja by making sure we end hunger through the provision of a road map.

“The conference facilitated contact between international buyers and sellers in the country and improved export capacity of Nigerian businesses.

“Increased opportunities for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs), women and youth owned agribusinesses to engage in global value chains, among others,’’ she said.

She said that the group’s collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, among other stakeholders, underlined government’s determination and commitment to the growth and development of agricultural sector of the economy.

“As the initiators, we recognised that AGRICON 2021 conference is a bold step to achieve the collective desire of food security for all,’’ she said.

On the theme, Oraka noted that it would provide a platform for key stakeholders to discuss salient issues about food security in post COVID-19 period and showcase innovative agricultural inputs, machinery and ancillary services.

According to her, the theme is informed by the need to reenergise the number of youths and women that abandoned their farms due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, thereby leading to hunger and starvation across the country.

“So, while we were planning for this year’s conference we say how do we get this youths off the street, how do we compensate women that have left their farms and get them back?,’’ she said.

NAN reports that AGRICON conference, scheduled for Sept. 21 to Sept. 22  has as its theme “#Endhunger today: Building a National Resilience for Sustainable Food Security’’.

It is designed to mobilise a gathering of Hi-tech agribusiness innovation establishments, professionals and consultants.

Scholars and agro-strategic architects are to propagate new approach on crop improvement, value addition on staple foods and techniques on improvement of farm yields.

The conference will also exhibit modern farm equipment to improve food production, supply and enhance business opportunities. (NAN)