AfDB Chief, Akinwumi Adesina, Seeks Adoption of Tech in Nigeria’s Agric Sector

Akinwumi Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has called on stakeholders in Nigeria’s agriculture sector to adopt technology in the development of the industry. Adesina made the call on Wednesday at an event in the Federal University of Technology Minna, where he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Technology.

The AfDB president, who was a former minister of agriculture and rural development, said during his tenure he enabled 15 million farmers’ access to improved seeds and fertilisers and ended corruption in the agricultural sector through the use of mobile phones. Adesina served as a minister under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011-2015.

Speaking about his tenure as minister, he said, “It was revolutionary; the first not only in Africa but it was the first in the world. It helped produce Nigeria a record additional 21 million metric tonnes of food. It boosted food security and expanded wealth for farmers. “Rural wealth expanded from the North-East across the North-Central to the North-West, from the South-West, South-East and the South-South of the country. “It brought accountability and transparency in the use of public funds. It changed the lives of farmers including Hajia Ladi Balade, a female farmer in Zamfara’s Bakalori irrigation project who was growing just two hectares of rice.

“I went to her farm, with the technological support she received on her mobile phone, Hajia Ladi Baladi boosted her production, went to Mecca and supported 23 orphans. My wife, Grace, is here today. She would call Hajia Ladi Balade, the minister’s second wife.” Adesina, therefore, called for the deployment of modern technology in farming practices to encourage massive food production in Nigeria.