Dr. Ikechi Agbugba
Brain Re-Engineering Concept and Reimagination in a sunken Economy:
Strategy for enhanced Food Security and Entrepreneurship Development
The core focus of brain re-engineering concept and reimagination is conceptualized and hinges on changing this perception problem of African youths as it stands to provide a veritable strategy in transforming Africa’s economy through the attainment of food security in an age where environmental concerns and climate change issues are at an all-time high; and sadly, sustainable farming is a hotbed subject. Our population is growing, and increasing shortages of land and water pose a noteworthy threat to the longevity of humans as we know it. But while many politicians stall at a glance, agriculture technology start-ups are busy taking action.
We must establish that advances in machinery have increased the scale, speed and productivity of farm equipment. Hence, this leads to a more efficient cultivation of more inputs and variables in productive lands with seeds, fertilizers and irrigation also have greatly improved thereby ultimately helping farmers in increasing their yields in either crops, livestock, agroforestry or fisheries.
Truly, the potential level of agricultural production is generally considered to be determined by physical factors such as quality of the soil, quality and availability of water and the prevailing climate. In so doing, the need of the hour is to drive transformation in African economy through these recent new dimensions of technology since the whole idea of brain re-engineering seizes the opportunity and leverages on the advent of technology and fourth industrial revolution (4IR) which operates on Cyberspace systems such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain technology, Internet of Things (IOTs), Agricultural Drones, among other technology solutions.
Technological innovations have, to a great extent shaped the agriculture sector throughout time. Examples of technological solutions in the 4IR era are: Bee vectoring technologies; precision agriculture; indoor vertical farming; livestock farming technology; laser scarecrows; farm automation; real-time kinematic (RTK) technology; mini-chromosome technology; farm management software; and water management technology. From the creation of the plough to global positioning system (GPS) driven precision farming equipment, humans have developed new ways of making farming more efficient and productive.
Generally, the youths of Africa are fascinated by automation, and yearn to see a more-scientific and technologically-driven agriculture and that specifically factors in the use of robots, drones, and autonomous tractors to make farming more efficient. Precision agriculture is not left out in the brain re-engineering concept and reimagination which involves applying irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides at variable rates, depending on crop needs, rather than uniformly applying them at set times, quantities and frequencies.
Conversely, major technologies that are most commonly being utilized by farms are harvest automation, autonomous tractors, seeding and weeding, and drones. Farm automation technology addresses major issues like a rising global population, farm labor shortages, and changing consumer preferences.
Youth engagement in agriculture is essential and critical for growth and to strengthen local food systems, feeding communities and providing gainful employment opportunities for the world's booming youth population. The role of youths in digital agriculture is streamlined in such a way that automated workflows have become invaluable for teams in the agriculture industry.
The more youths and youngsters are in the agriculture space in the 4IR era, the more its potential to increase efficiency, improve quality, and lower costs is assure. However, some of the demerits to the use of technology in agriculture are negligible as that would create more work for the agripreneur or young farmer and can reduce the personal contact farmers have to their farmlands.
Indeed, the brain re-engineering concept and reimagining of what the agriculture sector and its enterprise activities stands to offer which hinges on unveiling the technology new dimensions can allow farmers to better engage in effective monitoring of the health of their livestock and crops, better documentation, more informed decisions, as well as in saving time and money.
Brain re-engineering concept and reimagination is a strategy enhancing youth engagement especially in the agriculture space as that would enhance their entrepreneurial capacity. Entrepreneurship in agriculture is a transformative option to unlock income generation through the agriculture sector since it will create jobs and multiple sources of income. Truly, youth agripreneurship creates decent work for young people, strengthens communities and drives inclusive economic growth, but for too many young people, entrepreneurship is out of reach. One of the biggest advantages of getting started with entrepreneurship at a young age is the opportunity to learn important skills such as teamwork, networking, problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, self-discipline, etc. All these skills can help in school performance and later in life. We must not forget that entrepreneurs in the agriculture industry are important to market economies, because they can act as the wheels of the economic growth of the country. By creating new products and services, they stimulate new employment, which ultimately results in the acceleration of economic development.
Dr. Ikechi Agbugba
I am very much interested in this call.
Please permit me to submit that civil wars and political instability have seriously affected economic development, and have taken a direct toll on food production by driving farmers off their lands. There has also been inadequate public investment in agricultural research, training and infrastructure. The result is declining food production.
Also, climate change is intensifying food insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa, where Russia's war in Ukraine and the pandemic are also adding to food shortages and high prices. Climate events, which destroy crops and disrupt food transport , are disproportionately common in the region.
Truly, food price volatility is higher in African markets than in world markets. World food price volatility has increased since food crisis of 2007–2008.
More so, many factors influence food price volatility, including agriculture and energy policy, commodity prices and market speculation, extreme weather events, rising global demand, and falling surplus stocks. Extreme price fluctuations often lead to political and market overreaction such as export restrictions. While such policies are designed to protect the population of a particular country or region, they can have devastating consequences for global food security.
As an expert in developing programmes and projects on advancing food systems and sufficiency, I believe I have made my points clear.
Ikechi K. Agbugba (PhD) - GLOBAL MENTOR OF CHANGE RECIPIENT