The much anticipated West Africa Agribusiness Show (WAAS) 2020, touted as the “largest agribusiness show in West Africa” finally held between 18th to 20th February at the Landmark Event Center at Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. It was 3 days of informative presentations, stakeholder brainstorming, exhibitions, and strategic networking. Indeed, some of the best minds in the agricultural sector, including businessmen and women, professionals, consumers, and enthusiasts in West Africa and beyond converged for the maiden edition of the WAAS 2020.

The event kicked off with a keynote address delivered by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono. Other keynote addresses were also presented on subsequent days by Brian Chris Udoh the Policy Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Netherlands, and Ikechukwu Kelikume who is the Academic Director, Agribusiness, Lagos Business School. The event also witnessed a rich repertoire of panel discussions which included topics like ‘Agribusiness Value Chain Financing’,  ‘Ensuring Basic Regulations and Standards in Guaranteeing Food Safety and Functional Commodity Exchange in Nigeria’, ‘Finding Lasting Solutions to the Perennial Egg Glut Challenges in Nigeria’, and ‘The need For Fire Prevention and Safety Measures Around the Farm’. Resource persons for these panel discussions were drawn from diverse fields across the government, private sector, and the academia, and they included Mr. Ina Alogwu from InterSwitch, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan from Amo Group, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, the Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos State, Prof. Andi Brisibe of IAMN, Opeyemi Olutayo from AccessBank, Dr. Bukar Usman who works with the Vet Directorate at NAFDAC, Ope Agbato from Animal Care, Prof. Kolawole Adebayo from the FUNAAB), Adegboyega Adedeji from Livestock Feeds, Frederick Schreurs of IITA, and a host of others.

Exhibitors showcased their products which included cutting-edge agricultural technologies and innovative services, and participants interacted, networked, established business relationships and bought various products from exhibitors. Such exhibitors included Salmet, Ovorider, Big Dutchman, Animal Care, Poultec, Amo Byng, Nigerian Army Farms & Ranches, Eltees Farms, Cummins, Turner Wright, Biacom, Meat Embassy, AccessBank, Profundis, Grand Cereals/Livestock Feeds, Griffin & Steffler, Hyline, and Adamore, just to mention a few. Further networking opportunities and strategic discussions took place between VIP guests, potential investors and the exhibiting companies in the B2B lounge.

In the end, major commitments were made from all stakeholders to continue to advance the emerging agribusiness sector of Nigeria and in extension, West Africa. The next edition of the event has already been scheduled for February 23-25, 2021 at the LandMark Center, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria and will be primarily sponsored by Agri Supplies Ltd, Nigeria.

By OHDI

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