The agricultural sector is under pressure to boost productivity.This is challenging the capacity of workers, farmers, managers, farming systems and even the environment. Stakeholders said the gap in Nigeria’s agriculture is its disconnect with the market.
To this end, capacity building has become crucial to empower agro business managers and farmers with skills to increase food production. The idea of agro business academy is to transforming agro business capabilities to respond to market signals.
Stakeholders have expressed their desire to partner Premier Agribusiness Academy on capacity building for business sustainability and profitability while commending the academy for their quality of training and facilitators.
The stakeholders, which include, Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Rome Business School, made this known during a leadership training organised by Premier Agribusiness Academy in Lagos. They emphasised the need for enhanced education and training regarding opportunities in agriculture.
The Director-General, Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Dr. Manzo Daniel Maigari, who was a participant at the executive education course designed for chief executives, and key operators said the sector was in need of capacity in agri-business management skills and sustainable practices along the agricultural value chain, and the academy has provided a solution.
He said efficient leadership skills taught at the academy enables them to make decisions that will propel business growth.
He stressed the need to focus on improving agricultural production systems, enhancing sustainability and addressing issues of food security.
Another participant at the training, Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, commended the agribusiness school, and highlighted ways the research institute can collaborate with the academy while expressing her desire to do so.
“There are so many ways our organisation can collaborate with Premier Agribusiness Academy especially in the area of agricultural value chain. Our institute deals with so many agricultural crops starting from the beginning which is the soil until it gets to the consumer and I see many ways we can collaborate in terms of livestock, domestic improvement, and processing and human capacity development.’’
The Chairman Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Egbebe Godwin, who was also a participant at the training said: “I am happy that I attended this course because it is needed to bridge the gap between agriculture and business so that we can have a successful practice of agribusiness.
A lot of people know how to bring the concept of science and business together; they only know agriculture but there are ignorant of the business aspect of it. I am, particularly, delighted to have been a part of this training because it has exposed me to better ways to manage my business and also convince other PAN members to partner with Premier Agribusiness Academy to learn world’s best management practices that will help them develop their businesses and agriculture in Nigeria.’’
The Executive Director, Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI),Dr. Olufemi Oladunni, said functioning efficiently as a chief executive in the agriculture and rural development sector requires a lot of creative and critical thinking to solve problems .
He expressed delight to have been a participant of the training and lauded Premier Agribusiness Academy for the initiative, adding that the knowledge he has acquired will help him function better and more efficiently in his office.
He expressed his intention to collaborate with the academy by introducing agribusiness components into the agricultural value chain, through the training of young members in experiential learning adding that, this knowledge will help them in delivering their mandate to the institute and country at large.
The Country Director, Rome Business School, Dr. Humphrey Akanazu said the academy has capacity to remedy the agriculture’s market disconnect by building capacity through re-training, and restructuring extension delivery.
The Academy’s Director- General, Ambassador Francis Toromade said the institution was designed to build entrepreneurial skills and management competencies of Nigerians to transform farming and agro businesses into profitable ventures.
He said the participants were trained to take complex decisions, use simple decision support tools, checklists, and strategic questions that compel them to think like entrepreneurs, and act to maximise their profits from farming.
He added that the academy was established to bridge the gap between agriculture and business management in the sector through quality training on human capital development, business management, marketing and sales of agricultural products, production, logistics, distribution, among others.