The need for West African countries to come together to showcase the rich agricultural heritage of their sub-continent and contribute to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are the focus of the West African Agribusiness Show (WAAS) scheduled for Nigeria in 2020, Mr. Idowu Asenuga, an agric expert and top agric consultant in Nigeria, has posited.
Referring to a submission by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Asenuga, who is the chief convener of the show, declared that West Africa has an abundance of natural and human resources. “The agriculture sector represents approximately 25 per cent of the region’s GDP and 60 per cent of its active labour force.”
He, therefore, added that following the economic recovery experienced in Nigeria and other West African countries in 2017, growth in the GDP is expected to rise to 3.9per cent in 2019.
Speaking recently on the maiden edition of the West African Agribusiness Show (WAAS) slated for February 18 to 20, 2020, Asenuga said the agribusiness industry in the sub-region is set to witness a radical development as stakeholders connect to share ideas, see and experience the latest in equipment and technical know-how as well as supplies and services deployed in the production and processing of agriculture-related products.
He said the experiences of participants at the show will equally lead to a major boost in the further creation and improved management of existing small, medium and large scale farming concerns in the different areas of agriculture like arable farming, poultry, snailery, piggery, apiculture and others.
According to him, the proposed show will give participants the opportunity to create and enhance their brand visibility as well as establish business alliances with potential partners. “This show will bring together stakeholders from across West Africa in order not only to attract new prospects in agribusiness but to make West Africa an investment hub for the agricultural and allied sectors.”
Asenuga said participants, including farmers, product research organisations, agriculture equipment and product suppliers and buyers, agric innovators and other stakeholders and decision-makers in the industry are expected from 15 countries in the sub-region. The countries include Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Niger, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Togo and Mali. Nigeria is the host country for the event which is billed for Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.