SGS, an Independent Agricultural Services Company, has tasked the Nigerian government on the need to adopt new technologies to reduce costs and enhance productivity and profitability in the agriculture sector.
This position was made during a full presentation and technical forum organised to educate stakeholders on global best practices in agriculture.
The session which held in Lagos had in attendance, representatives from the Dangote Group, Olam Industries, Zenith Bank, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Ogun State governments, IFC, and other distinguished guests.
Taking the participants through Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Precision Farming Technologies, Mr. Cobus Burger, Managing Director, SGS NviroCrop explained: “Lack of food can cause instability. The average age of the commercial farmer is 56 years. Nowadays people live in urban centers, they buy food but increasingly fewer amounts of people know how to produce food”.
Burger gave an illustration of the heat wave that held the Midwest of the USA to ransom. “That singular act of nature has driven up corn prices, and affected the global supply and demand chain. In agricultural economics parlance, the perfect storm occurs when climate change is accompanied by food shortages,” he added.
He noted that, Agriculture stakeholders cannot rely on genetics alone to drive yield. “Nutrients are more important. SGS has perfected the art of soil science with global operations in North & South America, Australia, Russia, Europe, and of course Africa.
The company understands like many the fact that 60 per cent of all available land in the world for crop production is in Africa.
However, unlike most, the company has familiarised itself with the cutting-edge technology and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) required to make the soil work optimally for the people, governments and commercial farmers that require its output to thrive.
The economics and politics become increasingly better as a country can diversity its economy and keep its people far from hunger. After all world peace cannot be built on empty stomachs.”
He pointed out that in Nigeria, fertilizers applied are mostly Urea based. This, he said can be to a disadvantage, as Urea may need to be supplemented with other nutrients.
SGS is an inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The company which has for its client the Dangote Group, Obasanjo Farms, Folawiyo Farms, Olam Industries, state and federal governments, was founded in 1878.
It offers agricultural services, automotive services, consumer testing services, environmental services, system and services certification, industrial services, life sciences, mineral services, trade assurance services, and oil, gas & chemical services are the ten of the company’s business lines.
Ibrahim Suleiman, a Business Consultant with SGS, says the aim of SGS is to “encourage farmers to export, embrace mechanized farming, adopt new technologies, reduce costs and reap harvests multiple times a year. We envision a time where the earnings from Agriculture will be more than oil”.