Nigeria has resolved that it would review agricultural policies to strengthen value chain and further tackle unemployment rate.
Alhaji Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated this at the First Bank of Nigeria Limited 2019 Agric Expo in Lagos.
Nanono said that government would also create an enabling environment that would promote agro industrialisation for sustainable growth and development.
He explained that governement focus would be on review of agricultural policies to make them more friendly.
Nanono said that other focus of the government would be on local agric business development, responsible agriculture investment, agricultural education and mechanisation of technical and trading facilities for farmers.
He noted that agriculture transformation was key to achieving sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.
According to him, formidable agricultural sector is needed to eradicate poverty, achieve good health and well- being.
The minister said that the ministry would partner with relevant stakeholders in agriculture to transform the sector to boost production and employment.
“Many people are now showing interest in agricultural sector because opportunities are enormous.
“A lot of money is now coming for the development of agriculture from most institutes in the world and Nigeria must tap into the opportunities,” he said.
Nanono said that Nigeria had continued to be the largest producer of agricultural commodities when compared with processed agricultural commodities.
He said that “this has brought attention to the country and it is Important we harness the opportunities and take authority, for future development of our country.”
The minister said that the development had called for creation of value chain in the sector in order to tap into the various opportunities therein.
He added that the country needed to stregthen agribusiness for sustainable growth and development.
The minister said that agricultural development cannot be achieved without sound research institutes, noting that nation’s research institutions were not making the required impact.
“Agric Development is very important and cannot happen without research.
“Research is very important for agricultural sector, the money allocated for real research is not there and this is what I want to change this time.
“We cannot achieve any growth without research, we have research institutes but the impact is not there, we still buy our seeds from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali , what a shame,” Nanono said.
He stressed the need to strengthen research institutes in the country to make the needed impact.
The minister said that the research institutes must engage in real research for the growth and development of the agricultural sector.
Nanono said that the day of sectoral lending was over by the commercial banks.
“Commercial banks and other development financial institutes have to come out and participate in the development of agriculture and agribusiness,” he said.
Also speaking, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister, Trade and Investments, called for a paradigm shift towards harnessing the potentials and opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Adebayo said that government was committed in strengthening economic diversification to achieve food security.
He said that government had put in place diverse strategies to strengthen the sector in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Adebayo was represented by Mrs Omololu Ope-Ewe, Director, Commodities and Product Development, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
He said one of such strategies was ease of doing business, which government was pursuing vigorously through infrastructural development.
He said that the Federal Government recently commenced the process of partial privatisation of the Nigeria Commodities Exchange with a view to reposition it for effective service delivery.
According to him, the privatisation process of the exchange, when concluded, will support in creating a robust electronic trading for agric commodity traders and farmers.
He said that the ministry was working in collaboration with other quality regulatory agencies to develop standard, quality infrastructure in order to curb the spate of rejection of our agricultural commodity expo at the international market.