The need to embrace agriculture in the nations strive for economic transformation, has again been stressed.
Making this call was Mr. Moses Tule, Director, Monetary Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the Second In-House Review meeting of the Institute of Food Security Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), titled, “Restoring the Primacy of Agriculture in the Nigerian Economy”, held last weekend to showcase the results of research findings in agriculture.
Mr. Tule, while presenting a paper titled, “The Dutch Disease, Sustainable Agriculture and Monetary Policy in Nigeria”, stated that the Dutch disease became a common phrase to describe a situation in which a boom in the natural resource sector, shrinks the manufacturing and agricultural sectors through Crowding-out Effect and an appreciation of the real exchange rate.
He listed out the factors that would ensure sustainability in agriculture to include increase in government’s provision of infrastructure, competitive pricing of agricultural commodities, private investment, high per capita income, reduction in exchange rate depreciation and the availability of credits.
According to him, the CBN had often complemented its traditional role with a quasi-fiscal function, using unconventional monetary policy instruments, like dual interest rates, quantitative easing policies and by developing interventions in the agricultural sector, among others.
Welcoming participants to the meeting, the Director of IFSERAR, Professor Akin Omotayo, appreciated the university management for the confidence reposed in him and his team to pilot the affairs of the Institute.
He said the collaboration between IFSERAR and the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), had yielded a lot for the Institute.
He added that this year alone, IFSERAR had empowered many farmers by giving them maize seeds free of charge for planting, so as to increase food production.
Also, the research on Kalahari goat had been a source of attraction to many farmers and thereby contributing to an increase in the internally-generated revenue profile of the university.
He appreciated Mr. Moses Tule, for finding time to honour the invitation as guest Speaker at the review meeting despite his busy schedule.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, said he was convinced that the review meeting was important in improving the agricultural sector and enhancing national development.
Prof. Oyewole added that it was also essential to use such forum to bring stakeholders together on an annual basis to chart the way forward in attaining sustainable food security.
He disclosed that in line with the objectives that established FUNAAB in 1988, the former Research and Development Centre (RESDEC), was upgraded to the status of an Institute in year 2009, to properly address the research component of the university tripodal mandate.
He expressed delight that after about five years of its existence, IFSERAR had already been established as a full-fledged Institute by developing and repositioning the university, as an acclaimed player in agricultural research.
The don, however, appealed to stakeholders to begin to sensitise, mobilise, promote and encourage young people, to operate farm business, to replace ageing farmers, and thereby creating more.