Private sector investments in Nigeria’s agriculture sector | Land Portal

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has disclosed that private sector investments in the country’s agric sector has reached about N760 billion in the last two years.

Former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sonny Echono, an architect, disclosed this in Abuja at a seminar organised by the ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to harness public and private sector stakeholders’ support for the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) in Nigeria.

Echono, who was represented by the Director of Agribusiness and Marketing Development, said that the “New Alliance for Food and Nutrition” was a global platform led by the world Economic Forum in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that the alliance had propelled private sector investment commitments in Africa totaling $10 billion and Nigeria had enjoyed the goodwill of the private sector investors who had committed more of the investment money in Nigeria.
Also, an agribusiness specialist with UNDP, Dr. Tony Bello, said that government needs to give more support to the private sector in order not to lose the goodwill the country had been enjoying.
“There is risk of reduced investment spending that can lead to loses of opportunity for job creation by 16 priority investors due to lack of satisfaction with government support,” he said. The UNDP Deputy Country Director of Programmes, Mandisa Mashologu, said that nascent system of coordination and inconsistency of policies, regulations, laws and administrative practices, which were key challenges, must become a thing of the past, if Nigeria must maintain its enviable leadership position in Africa’s agricultural transformation.
USAID, one of the international partners that was supporting Nigeria in its quest to attain food security status, was not left out in the vanguard of campaign to persuade Nigerian government to sustain the progress made already in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
According to USAID’s Agriculture and Food Security Officer in Nigeria, Xavier Preciador, United States’ President, Barak Obama, one of the proponents of G8 countries, which established the New Alliance, was desirous to see 50 million people lifted out of poverty over 10 years in Africa.
Talking about how the transformation in agriculture in Nigeria could be sustained, he explained that donors could facilitate partnerships and share best practices, as well as support the development and dissemination of new technologies to increase productivity; but how to convert private sector commitments to real investments is solely dependent on the commitments of Nigerians.
Preciador said: “If we want to reach true scale on the level of millions of farmers, if we want sustainable access to markets and creativity that drives innovation, then we need the private sector as full partner."

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