A United Nations backed committee in 2009, predicted an impending food crises in Africa by the year 2020.In lieu of this, Benson Idahosa University gathered global icons under the THINKERS’ NEST Forum to proffer possible ways to avert this impending epidemic.
Thinkers’ Nest is a Benson Idahosa University BIU powered economic forum, designed to bring together thought leaders, industry experts, practitioners, researchers, and young innovators in the agricultural sector to dialogue and proffer solutions to real time agricultural challenges in Sub- Saharan Africa. This edition of the Thinker’s Nest, was graced by very intelligent and innovative thinkers like Prof Pat Utomi, Leke Alder, Mavi Isibor (CEO POISE Nig), Ndidi Nwuneli, and Uriel Palti (The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria). The President of Benson Idahosa University, Bishop F.E.B Idahosa II was also in attendance, as well as Prof. Sam Guobadia (Deputy Vice Chancellor), and Prof. William Molindo (Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology).
This event themed “Food Crisis and Innovative Agriculture” held on Wednesday 10th of February, 2016 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria.
While delivering the opening address, Bishop F.E.B. Idahosa II, said
“We are here to create ideas that will solve the food crisis in Africa. We are here to birth the future.
Benson Idahosa University is leading the CHANGE! Benson Idahosa University’s solution to agriculture would involve training, sourcing funds, vertical integrated large scale farming. He also advised Nigerian universities to teach Agricultural business alongside Agric science.
Prof Sam Guobadia, the DVC of Benson Idahosa University and one of the speakers at the Conference, talked about the BIU Solution to the Agric Challenge; “We all have a role to play in response to the food crisis is the world. Talking & talking does not proffer solution to the problems we have in Nigeria. We have to do something”.
While giving his talk, Leke Adler said; People invest in people and not so much in the idea, you have to build the drive and inspire confidence. Your color, logo & typeface must be consistent with your brand. It must speak excellence. One of his favorite quotes during the conference was
“Green isn’t just the color of our passport; it’s the color of our vision.”
Prof. Pat Utomi while speaking on the Agricultural sector said there are many ways we can fund agriculture in Nigeria but we must see it as “BUSINESS”. The agricultural sector requires proper branding. Israel used their technology to ensure year round farming. Nigeria can easily do same with greenhouse technology.
Ndidi Nwuneli while speaking on the problems and challenges in the Agricultural sector said the real challenge in Agriculture in Nigeria is in the processing of raw materials.” Farmers in Nigeria prefer to sell fresh than to process and are losing profits. Processing is more important than production right now in Nigeria in order to curb waste In Agricultural business as in any other business has to be branded on two levels; product level and corporate level. She also added while speaking on the deviation from the Agricultural sector to the Oil sector; Nigeria should focus more on competitive advantage for different states and reduce the focus on oil. Action Points highlighted by all the speakers include; 1) Engage in Research and development 2) Cross fertilize farming with science3) Offset imports with exports 4) Government to intervene through infrastructural development.