Expert tasks FG, stakeholders on industrialisation to transform sector
Industrialization through provision of infrastructure has been identified as the critical vehicle to transform the agric sector.
Managing Director, AgroNigeria, Richard-Mark Mbaram, who disclosed this in Lagos, said provision of infrastructure would boost productivity of farmers, adding that under-performing agriculture is stifling the effective functioning of the industrial sector; which has consequently resulted in weak linkage between the agricultural and industrial sectors, in the face of a myriad of opportunities.
He said: “This includes hosting a large spectrum of suitable agro-climatic conditions that allow a broad range of agricultural production. Using agriculture to power industrialisation calls for a strong public-private sector partnership that increases small farm holders’ productivity and enhances their contribution to national and regional value chains.”
While lauding efforts of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, for partnering the African Development Bank (AfDB) to promote agro-allied industrialisation, he said the minister has demonstrated his willingness to work with AfDB to use agro-allied industrialisation as an effective strategy to create employment and reduction in poverty.
According to him, the Ministry of Agriculture is preparing conditions for industrialisation through modernisation of agriculture that will raise incomes and productivity of poor farmers, lowering food prices, and improving nutrition.
Mbaram says the key to making agricultural transformation a reality is making modern technologies available and supporting investment in agricultural research and development (R&D). He said the National agricultural research system needed to be funded to find new technologies suitable for local conditions.
He said AfDB Group President, Akinwumi Adesina had identified Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZ), as potential joint venture opportunities for Nigeria’s agricultural investment. Through the initiative, he said the bank seeks to transform rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity.
Mbaram urged Nigerians to support the Federal Government towards achieving the agro-allied industrialisation agenda.