Agriconnect Summit 2024: Dr. Oduntan Advocates For Policy Coherence To Enhance Market Access In Agriculture

0
Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, Group Managing Director, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited at the Agriconnect Summit 2024.

He stated this at the recently concluded Agriconnect Summit 2024, held at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The summit, themed “Bridging the Divide: Fostering Collaboration and Innovation for a Sustainable Agricultural Future,” underscored the urgent need for concerted efforts to address the challenges facing the agricultural industry and to unlock its full potential.

During a panel discussion titled “From Farm to Table: Enhancing Market Access and Building Resilient Food Systems,” Dr. Oduntan addressed the challenge of inconsistent government policies hindering the advancement of agribusiness in Nigeria. He highlighted the perpetual cycle of new policies introduced by different ministers of agriculture without adequate consideration for the continuity of previous initiatives.

“We have all the right ideas to take the agribusiness to where it should be but a major challenge has been the implementation of policies. In my over 30 years of experience in the agricultural sector, I have witnessed numerous policy shifts with each new Minister of Agriculture. This inconsistency hampers the progress of our agribusiness,” Dr. Oduntan remarked.

Mr. Gbolaro Olulade (Head Corporate Strategy, Flour Mills Nigeria), Ms. Ruth Abisola Olusanya (Honourable Commissioner of Agriculture, Lagos State), Mr. John Sunday (Senior Associate. Bloonfield LP), Mr. Luther Lawoyin (Founder and CEO, Pricepally), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR (Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), Mr Samson Ogbole (Founder and Team Lead, Soiless Farm Labs), Dr. Ayoola Oduntan (Group Managing Director, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery), Mr. Olakunle Olusanya (Executive Director & General Secretary Fan Milk & Danone), Dr. Adebowale Akande (Director and CEO BIP International Institute of Tropical Agriculture IITA).

Proposing a solution to this, he stressed the necessity for a central coordinating agency to ensure policy coherence, allocate resources, and facilitate effective implementation. “We need a central coordinating agency to provide direction, allocate resources, and ensure the sustained implementation of agricultural policies.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who chaired the summit, urged the federal government to prioritize food security by offering single-digit interest loans to farmers. “Any country that offers more than a single-digit loan to people in agribusiness is not helping farmers,” he emphasized. “We must recognize food as a national security need and provide the necessary financial support to farmers.”

Among the distinguished guests present at the summit were the Minister of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, and The Honourable Commissioner of Agriculture, Lagos State, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, representing the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The presence of esteemed dignitaries and industry experts underscored the significance of collaboration and innovation in shaping a sustainable agricultural future for Nigeria.

As Nigeria strives to enhance market access and build resilient food systems, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited remains committed to driving positive change and fostering collaboration within the agricultural ecosystem.