Minister Seeks More Funding To Upscale Massive Investment In Agriculture

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The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has solicited more financial support to upscale the massive investment in the agricultural sector.

He said Agriculture being the focus of the government’s diversification agenda deserves better agro financing to provide credit facilities to support the sector’s Value Chain activities.

Baba Shehuri stated this during a virtual high-level panel discussion to round off activities earmarked to celebrate the 2021 World Food Day.

The Minister said the ministry is strongly committed to meeting the domestic Food requirement, Exporting at qualitative levels and creation of a favourable business environment to make Agro business thrive.

He further said that ‘’ there is a deliberate strategic approach towards job creation, conserve foreign exchange and attain the National Food Security.

Shehuri pointed out that the seed sub-sector supply chain is being repositioned to ensure that the farmers have access to quality seeds to improve yield. “The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) under my watch has been directed to interface with key seed Industry Stakeholders to ensure that Early Generation Seeds (EGS) are structured to ensure uninterrupted supply of certified seeds’’.

He disclosed that, ‘’there is also ongoing awareness campaign by the Council on the importance of using improved seeds to boost production’’, adding that the administrative bottlenecks that previously hindered farmers easy access to fertilizer have been addressed.

Speaking further, the minister stated that “the partnership with Government of Brazil to pilot the establishment of 117 Mechanization centres across the country is ongoing. According to him, “When these centres are completed, and operational, farmers will be able to buy mechanization services for a fee with relative ease without the need to own expensive equipment for farm operations’’.

The Minister informed that ‘’ Nigeria’s agriculture has done well in this present administration in areas such as ; being the World leading producer of yam 18.3 million MT, World leader in the production of Cassava that has steadily risen to 70 million metric tonnes, ranks second as World producer of Sorghum just after the United State of America, ranks fifth in the producer of Palm oil and Cocoa and share of Gross Domestic Production contributed by Agricultural Sector in Nigeria has consistently been impressive, Year in year out’’.

In his words, “Nigeria is a Global player in agricultural Export; in the year 2019 are as follows: Sesame Seeds oil: N77.04 billion, Cocoa: N66.73 billion, Cashew Nuts: N45.6 billion, Frozen Shrimps and Prawns: N7.46 billion, Ginger: N3.34 billion, Processed & Semi Processed Agro-Food: N1.84 billion and Cotton: N609.33 million.

Shehuri emphasized that ‘’the potential in this strategic sector is enormous and there is enthusiasm and political will to return the Agricultural Sector as the highest contributor to the National Gross Domestic Product by the year 2025’’.

Other panellists at the virtual included the Senior Special Advisor to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire represented by her Assistant, Rose Keffas, Senior Special Advisor to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Country Programme Manager, Patrick Habamenshi.

Others were the President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arc. Kabir Ibrahim, World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director, Ronald Sibanda among others.



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