The low level of mechanization is responsible for Nigeria’s poor agricultural output, the Chief Executive Officer/Country Manager of Dizengoff Nigeria Antti Ritvonen has said.
Ritvonen also lamented the use of crude implements by farmers in the country, stressing that Nigeria’s arable lands are not being used as they ought to.
According to him, Nigeria can still return to its back glory in the sector even as he admitted that it would take a whole lot of hard work to achieve.
“There is a huge potential in the Nigerian agriculture, but I think we have a lot of work to be done,” he told Guardian Nigeria.
“I very much believe that Nigeria can return to its glory of being a leading food producing country in Africa in term of food production before independence.
“And I don’t see why that cannot happen again.
“Although there is a lot of work to be done to get there, it is very much possible. So, there is a huge potential in the Nigerian agriculture.
I think Nigeria has one of the largest arable lands in the world, but I don’t know what percentage of it is actually utilized for farming.
“Yield per hectare in Nigeria is very low. And this is due to the use of very old and inefficient farming methods and tools.”
In addition, he advised that “To increase productivity, we need to use more of modern and more efficient farming methods and do away with old ones.
“We need to start with mechanization, and education of farmers is very important so that they know how to use more advanced methods.
“Mechanisation is something you need to use in good quality and agro-chemicals should be quality, fertilizer and seeds have to be quality and these will increase the yields.”