The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has accepted to speak at the 19th annual lecture series of the Catholic Brothers United, CBU, scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 26, 2018, at the McGovern Hall, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland.
The Minister will be speaking on the theme, “Technology & Agricultural Revolution”: A Tool for Economic Growth.
President of the CBU, Emmanuel Okoro, in a statement announcing the Minister’s confirmation to be the guest speaker at the forum, said the choice of the theme is apt, because the federal government has given priority attention towards revamping the near moribund agriculture industry.
Okoro, noted that Technology and Mechanisation are key factors that are germane to achieving the objective of using agriculture as major plank to transforming the economy.
The topic remains one of the best options today because technology has played a big role in developing the agricultural industry in developed countries and today with the right application of technology; it is possible to grow crops in a desert by use of agricultural biotechnology. With this technology, plants have been engineered to survive in drought conditions, and through genetic engineering, scientists have managed to introduce traits into existing genes with a goal of making crops resistant to droughts and pests, a condition that abounds in Nigeria.
He also noted that with the use of mobile apps, a farmer can calculate the amount of grass available in the field, and this saves the farmer time and money, adding that Technology has turned farming into a real business, and now farmers have electrified every process. A consumer can place an order directly online, and the product will be transported from the farm to the consumer in time when it’s still fresh. This saves the farmer money and cuts out mediators who tend to buy low from farmers and sell high to end consumers.
Every farmer uses this technology in their own way. Some use it to create fertilizers, some use it to market their products, and others use it in production. So as a farmer, you have to specify what you need”, he said.
It is based on this transformation that the CBU, which is one of the pious societies in St. Agnes Catholic Church Maryland, Lagos, chose the Honorable Minister to discuss how government is thinking of adopting technology through research processes to advance the agricultural sector.
He said, “We are an Association formed to carry out works of Evangelism and in the course of this task, we undertake a lot of religious and community development activities aimed at adding value to the Church and the society at large. Some of these activities include charity works, retreats, seminars and annual lectures amongst others.
And one of the Cardinal programs of the association is the Annual lecture, a program carefully articulated to address major national and international issues.
Thus in choosing a topic for each year, we look at the issues and problems prevalent in the society to guide the choice of a topic that properly addresses these issues. Also in our search for an eminent personality to discuss and elucidate on the topic, we usually consider individuals with proven professional track records, as well as, the ability to proffer solutions to the issues identified, thus the choice of the agriculture minister to address the topic”, he added.
Speaking further, Okoro said, “In view of the Association’s concordance with the belief of the church in teaching, educating, enlightening and informing the society for effective character formation and for nation building, we use the Annual Lecture to propagate the good news not only to parishioners but also to the society at large. We have therefore always given the Annual Lecture the wide national coverage it deserves through print and electronic media”.
Also, he said, that Mr. Tunji Owoeye, the managing director of the Elephant Group has accepted to be the chairman of the occasion.
Okoro, said the choice of Owoeye stems from his background as a major player in the country’s agriculture sector, whose company has applied appropriate technology to advance rice production and processing in the country.