The Federal Government has called on entrepreneurs and investors to invest in livestock, fisheries and other projects which will take Nigeria into self-sufficiency, food security, and wealth creation along various value chains.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, said this at a ‘Roundtable Discussion on Agro-preneurs Success Stories and Mentorship Clinic in celebration of the 2021 World Food Day.
The theme of the 2021 edition of the Agricultural Show is: “Our Actions are our Future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”.
He said that the 2021 celebration marked the 41st edition of the World Food Day in Nigeria, as well as marking the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the 61st anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence as a Sovereign Nation.
“It is on record that Government’s economic diversification policy to agriculture, as alternative to oil and gas, and the investment of agro-preneurs projected Nigeria to become the largest producer of rice in Africa from 2019.
“Nigeria is ranked as the first in Cassava and Yam production globally. It is also ranked the 14th in Maize production and fourth in Palm oil. Now we have notable domestic brands in rice that are competing with foreign international brands.
“The expectations we have in agriculture to take Nigeria to the promised land could only be achieved when our entrepreneurs take deliberate actions to invest in different value-chains.
“The potentials across crops, livestock, horticulture and fisheries sub-sectors are enormous. Therefore, it is the ingenuity of entrepreneurs like some of you here that would add value to our produce and guarantee the revenue generation potentials of the sector,” he said.
Abubakar also encouraged entrepreneurs in the sector on sharing their success stories which would serve as motivation to young people to come into the sector and build a successful career.
“It is the involvement of entrepreneurs like you that would provide innovative solutions to the immense challenges in the sector,” he said.
However, the Minister expressed optimism that contributions from the agricultural sector would increase appreciably from the current 23 per cent to over 50 per cent based on the effort put in by agropreneurs in the next 10 years.
“With concerted effort of Agropreneurs, I am very optimistic that the contributions of agriculture to the Nigerian economy will increase exponentially from 23 per cent to over 50 per cent in the next 10 years.
“That is how we will actualise the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.