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Agric Sector In Focus As Agra Innovate 2018 Begins



Virtually all aspects of regional food production, processing and manufacturing require new technology as they transform into a modernised, productive and competitive force. The last five years have seen over $5 billion of private investment from companies that understand the sector’s enormous potential.

Agra Innovate West Africa is designed to bring all levels of this diverse sector together for intensive networking and deal making. The trade-show receives the full support of key private and public sector organisations and is attended by a “who’s who” of regional policymakers, private sector leaders and serious buyers.

As Nigeria transforms and looks forward to reviving its ailing agriculture industry, the forum is bringing fresh and innovative ideas that will support government’s diversification policy that will see the sector contributing significantly to the economy.

At the last year’s Agra Innovate expo, Chief Onikepo Akande, former Minister of Trade and Investment, who gave a keynote address, emphasised the need for Nigerian and West African farmers to use modern agricultural tools to boost food production. She expressed concerns over massive wastage of food after harvest, saying that although much food is being produced through the efforts of peasant farmers, so much goes into waste from the field to the table.

“After the success of last year’s Agra Innovate in Nigeria, we are ensuring that the upcoming exhibition will again have the great ambience all attendees have previously experienced. The seminars have consistently been the best in terms of layout, facilities and hospitality. It will be the one place this year where the whole agriculture industry will come together to learn and do business.” states Folusho Olaniyan OON, programme director, Agra Innovate West Africa.

Testimonies of stakeholders who had been part of the forum attests to the fact that a Nigeria indeed need to promote its potentials by networking with experts who participate in the expo.

Speaking from experience, Chukwuemeka Ndukwe, chief executive officer of Terahub, said Agra Innovate is the premier agricultural fair in Nigeria and very properly planned down to the minute. Ndukwe said he will be ready to learn more innovations int the agriculture evolution by being part of future editions of Agra Innovate.

In the plan for the 2018 forum, Agra Innovate West Africa expo will be  hosting the agribusiness leaders and stakeholders from Nigeria and beyond at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island in Lagos, from 27 to 28 November 2018. The event will be held under the theme: “Food Security: The role of finance in the creation of commercial opportunities for agricultural value chain stakeholder operations.”

The 2018 expo, organised by Informa and Contact Consulting Nigeria, marks the fifth edition of the event, with growing emphasis on thematic conference and seminars on topical issues. This year’s event serves as a high level platform for product exhibition, business-to-business linkage, deal making, networking, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, public-private collaboration and policy discourse among participants drawn from the agribusiness community, academia, advocacy groups, development practitioners, policy experts and high calibre government officials from within and outside Nigeria.

Over 5,000 exhibition visitors have registered online and attendance is free for online registered delegates.

Governor John Kayode Fayemi, who has confirmed his attendance as the Special Guest of Honour, and is leading a high level delegation from Ekiti State, will lead the way for other states’ chief executives on how to turn agricultural prospects into prosperity as he addresses agribusiness stakeholders on potentials for agribusiness partnerships. Governor Fayemi has indicated that his government will make agriculture a top priority in Ekiti State. 

Confirmed speakers at the event are Mr. Michel Deelen, deputy Head of Mission, Royal Netherlands Embassy, who will deliver an address the audience on emerging potential partnership opportunities between Nigeria and the Netherlands; Vanessa Adams, Vice President, Country Support and Delivery, AGRA (Kenya); Alex Elphistone, Programme Director, Adam Smith International; Fatima Ali Mohammed, CEO Brand Warrior; Ade Adefeko, VP OLAM (Nigeria); Nneka Eze, Country Director, Dalberg Global Advisors; and Dr. Olusegun Ojo, Director General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (Abuja). Mrs Sarah Alade, former Deputy Governor of Central Bank Nigeria, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

Agra Innovate is a brilliant expo which provides a melting pot for entrepreneurs, business leaders, professionals and suppliers to connect, network and share knowledge that can transform agriculture in West Africa and Africa at large, according to Adekunle Oyelami, Chief Responsibility Officer Morafem Integrated Enterprises.

Also, Nigerian and international agricultural policy makers, agribusiness leaders, farmers, technologists and investors are expected to participate and will discuss the latest in Nigerian agriculture and the whole of West Africa. 

Apart from over 40 exhibitors and 60 speakers expected at the event, this year’s edition has a special general session for interacting with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.

Programme Director, Agra Innovate West Africa, Folusho Olaniyan said: “After the success of last year’s Agra Innovate in Nigeria, we are ensuring that the upcoming exhibition will again have the great ambience all attendees have previously experienced.’’

The exhibition is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG).



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