Literacy Lecture Series 1.0: “Agriculture is not Farming but Farming is Agriculture”

Before the main lecture commenced, discussions were held on the dedicated WhatsApp Group Page on Sunday 10th of June 2018 with the topic “Agriculture is not Farming but Farming is Agriculture”

Excerpts from the Sunday’s discussion can be found below.

“Agriculture is not farming because the concept agriculture in not all about farming even though farming is an integral part of it but many people take agriculture to be more of farming, the Fact that people are engaged in Agriculture don't make them all farmers. The value chain in agriculture is far more encompassing than just farming. There is the role of processing, storage, logistics, research and development, retail and wholesale amongst many others. Our western countries such as America for example has less than 8% of its population engaged in Farming while less than 5% are engaged in other value chain of Agriculture.”

“As a kid, anytime agriculture was mentioned to me, I usually would take it as farming but as time goes on, I have been made to know that agriculture is broader than farming and more of research and development, processing, storage, logistics...etc. My opinion is that the solution to food insecurity is more than just farming but more of processing, preservation, storage...etc. Achieving Food Security isn't an impossible task. Download to read up more facts that will re-awaken the consciousness of achieving food security for Africa.”

“The great man-made river of Libya, dubbed “Gadhafi’s pet project” by the media is an illustration of this discussion; how they were able to convert a desert land that only gets rainfall once in 5-10years to a land conducive for farming is what Northern Nigeria should be looking at to resolve the Herdsmen-Farmer crises, however this alone will not be able to solve the problem of food insecurity that we are plagued with, Food Production isn't only what we need to sustain ourselves, There is  more to this but food production crises is one of the battles that has to be won on the journey to sustainability.”

“If the Fulani’s are able to get good forage feeds for their cows all through the annual seasonal changes, they don't have to take their cows on sight-seeing and grass-eating all over Nigeria, it will allow the farmers in Benue, Taraba, Ondo and other places to farm with rest of mind, even encourage others to join in. Also the cows will produce better quality meat and milk because they don't have to go through the stress of walking all over the country. Just imagine human walking around the nation just to feed, do you think that person can be really productive?”

“Also, the vast northern landmass that is not conducive for farming will be irrigated, we all know that we get some foodstuffs from the north, even without irrigation, I can't imagine how much the Hausa(s)/Fulani(s) can produce with stable water supply throughout the year, considering their land and manpower, also the revenue allocation that goes to the region.”

“In addition, there are more opportunities to explore in processing, preservation, storage, logistics, distribution to stores...etc. I came across an article where there was a discourse of more profits in processing and value-addition than production. Do you know that 40% of the tomatoes produced in Nigeria goes to waste? but without production other opportunities cannot be explored, it’s the bed rock. Value-addition needs to be to be in place. If we can have more of the Technology Incubation Centre around Nigeria. I know that processing, preservation will not be a problem. Change is possible, Nigeria can be rebirthed. I believe this can be made possible.”

“The knowledge shared on this platform is basically for us to study more, apply and make it workable for the growth and development of our country and continent. With increasing population, food security has become a critical issue, especially in Africa where the population will double, from the current estimate of about 1.2 billion, to 2.4 billion by 2050. Therefore, agricultural productivity needs to be strengthened radically to increase food availability.”