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By Christiana T. Alabi | Daily Trust (Abuja)

Lagos — The Chairman of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Agriculture Group, Afioluwa Mogaji, has described COVID-19 as a current global challenge that has presented an opportunity and a neutral ground for Nigeria to influence the global agriculture space.

Mogaji, who is also the chief executive of X-Ray Farms Consulting, who spoke at a webinar organised by the firm with the theme: "Exploring Agribusiness Opportunities in South-West", said achieving this goal required regional collaboration.

According to him, agri-business is beyond food production as it affects security, job creation as well as shapes culture, economic development, national security and sustainability.

"It's about sustaining the future of this country and also to promote regional strength in collaborating with each other. Also, to encourage the six geo-political regions to work together.

Earlier in her welcome remarks at the forum, the President of the chamber, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, said: "If the COVID-19 has taught us any lesson, it is the reawakening about the critical importance of economic diversification, self-reliance, and backward integration.

"As a country, we have competitive and comparative advantage in agriculture and agri-business. This is a sector that can readily be the anchor and key driver of our economic transformation, but we need the right policies, infrastructure and institutions to make this happen.

"The renewed focus on the development of the non-oil economy by the Federal Government has led to implementation of policies geared towards encouraging farmers and investors in the agri-business value chain, but the sector is still grappling with numerous productivity challenges."

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