I am waiting for one governor to take the bull by the horn and unveil a Tropical Farming Equipment Company in which his state has a minority stake

Ayo Akinfe

[1] It is a given that if Africa as a continent wants to get off her knees, she simply needs to start adding value to what she produces. If we do not do that, we have no moral right to complain about exploitation

[2] To kick-start this process, we need to introduce an immediate ban on the export of primary agricultural produce. It should be a criminal offence punishable with at least 10 years imprisonment to export farm products without at least adding 50% value

[3] To do this, however, we need to massively expand agricultural output. That will require mechanisation, so manufacturing farming equipment has got to be at the heart of our industrial policy

[4] This is one area where Nigeria really needs to exert her influence. We should be the agricultural manufacturing centre for the whole of Africa

[5] For starters, most of the agricultural equipment out there like combined harvesters are designed for temperate European crops like wheat. How many tractors have you ever seen designed to harvest cocoa, palm oil, groundnuts, cassava, coconuts, etc?

[6] It is mind blowing that Nigerians have not come up with the idea of a Tropical Farming Equipment Company yet. Every African farmers should be buying their agricultural equipment from Nigeria

[7] Have we even developed prototypes of machines that will harvest tropical crops yet?

[8] Once we have the prototype we then need to move to the serious phase of operations - mass production. This has been Africa’s bane as a continent. Products are just ideas unless you can mass produce them

[9] Apart from maybe Innoson Motors, is there any other Nigerian company that can produce 1m units of any product?

[10] If we want to be realistic, to realise this dream, Nigeria desperately needs to merge with some of her neighbours. As we stand, we have too small a landmass to achieve our potential