Farmers lack knowledge of indigenous technology - Senate

Farmers lack knowledge of indigenous technology - Senate
…FG urged to domesticate invention villages

ABUJA- THE Senate yesterday said Nigerian farmers are ignorant of indigenous technology, hence their failure to maximize their potentials.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Science & Technology, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, made the remarks while fielding questions from newsmen at the ongoing the Technology and Innovation Expo 2017, organized by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, in Abuja.
He maintained that the country can no longer depend on oil and gas due to its volatility in the international market, rather the two focal sectors for increased revenue generation, job and wealth creation will be agriculture and solid minerals.
He said: “I am happy we are focusing on agriculture because it has the potentials of contributing a lot to the growth and development of the economy. We can no longer depend on oil.
“The areas we looking to is agriculture and mining, and I believe if we focus on this it will help us. The government should also develop the political will to actualise it.
“Many Nigerians are not aware that these machineries are locally made and they are available, and when available are cheaper than what we import from other countries.”
The Senator who was also chairman of the occasion urged local innovators and inventors to collaborate with relevant organisations to make efficient and durable products that could compete globally.
“All we have to do is to make our indigenous fabrication as efficient and durable as those imported.
“That is why they should work hand-in-hand with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Academic Engineering, and Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria, COREN”, he stated.
Meanwhile, one of the exhibitors at the Expo, Founder of Refocusing Nigerians Talents Organisation, RENITO, Abanka Musa, said government should no longer distant itself from young innovators and inventors, but should give them support that would encourage them to do more for the country.
“The Refocusing Nigerians Talents Organisation, RENITO, has been promoting science innovation, invention and entrepreneurship for the past 22 years now. Since 2015 we have been harnessing these potentials. Government should harness the talents that are wasting in the country.
“We want government to promote mechanised farming. We have here indigenous farm technology invented by Nigerians, which the government could use to encourage graduates. The planters, harvesters, tractors, grass weeding machines, and other farm machineries that would easy the practice of agriculture and attract graduates.
“We don’t need to import this equipment as far as we can locally fabricate them, and also the government has to key into it and support what we are doing because it will save the country huge foreign exchange. This will also create job.
He suggested also that government should build invention villages in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to boost the creativity of young Nigerians in invention and creativity.
“Government should be able to build invention villages in the 36 states and FCT, or start with each in the six geopolitical zones, where these young innovators can come together, share knowledge because some are good in electrical, mechanical, electronics, fabrication, and others.
“Then challenge them at the state level on what you want them to do and you will see what they will come out with. These innovation and invention villages should be mounted with people who have the passion otherwise it will be a futile exercise,” Musa said.

He also urged government to give recognition, reward, and award to people who are exploring their talent to position the country on the path of technological growth and industrialisation, which will boost their morale and sustain their vision and passion for what they are doing.

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