The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, has reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to finding lasting solution to issues bothering on food security in the country.
He said this in Lagos, yesterday, during a presentation at the Ecobank Agric-Business Summit, tagged “Unlocking Productivity and Investment Opportunities Across Nigeria’s Agric-Business Value Chain.”
Nanono, who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, also stressed the need for collaboration between relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector, so as to further improve the sector’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
“The aim of this submit is indeed very apt as would contribute to creating a sustainable economy through the development of rural agricultural enterprises. It is gladdening that this forum has brought together small-holders, input dealers, agro-processors, development finance agencies, policy makers and the captains of industries under one roof to discuss the problems and challenges facing the sector, with the view to finding solutions and way forward.
“Nigeria’s potential and prospects, makes the agricultural sector a pilot for economic stabilisation, diversification and growth in the country. Indeed, the sector is a major contributor to the national GDP, contributing about 27 per cent to the GDP and the biggest in job creation in the non-oil sector.
“As you are aware, the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to addressing the issues of food security in the country, as well as encouraging local farmers to produce more and better quality food for all. The aim was to restore the glory of the country’s agricultural sector, which before the oil-boom was we all know, was the min driver of Nigeria’s economy.
“Let me also reiterate, that under the current dispensation, the agriculture sector has engineered more famers for providing the required raw materials for the development of the agro-allied industry in the country.
“With the noticable growth in production in agriculture, agricultural and food sector, The has been on stimulating agricultural export, to increase our foreign exchange earnings. In doing this, we are giving attention to meeting the requirements of not only the locals, but also international market.
“At present, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is promoting and supporting the development of special agro-industrial processing funds, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for value addition, import substitution, job creation and international market. Commitment and support would continue to be given to the areas of promoting foreign and local enterprise to advance level of credit and investment in agriculture as a veritable step to diversify the economy.