Experts want Nigeria to reposition agric sector to attract investors
They insist that the agricultural sector, which contributes up to 24 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, if repositioned will lead to an increase in production of agro-commodities by farmers, employment generation, contribute optimally to the nation’s GDP growth and attract millions of dollars of investor monies looking for a home in agricultural sector.
According to them, the enormous challenges bewildering the sector cut across inadequate infrastructure especially in transportation, storage, power; climate change, due to unpredictable weather and temperature conditions; lack of adequate funding; high bank interest rates; lack of access to credit; youths lack of interest in farming activities must be converted by investing more in the sector in order to remain sustainable in the global market.
Speaking to The Guardian, Chief Executive Officer, Farmkash Integrated Ltd., Patrick Ugwumba, noted that the importance of agriculture in the drive of the nation’s economy cannot be over emphasized; hence, great will and determination were needed to put the country in big agricultural production pedestal.
The agro business expert said that Nigeria had not fared well in agriculture because it had not exhibited needed commitment to boosting production in the sector.
According to him, Nigeria is endowed with the capacity to produce a variety of agricultural products if the right resources were provided to farmers especially in financing, describing governments grant as ‘scam’.
“It is very painful that in spite of all our resources we are still at this level in the agricultural sector, while government is coming out to the media to say they are supporting farmers by giving out grants that never gets to them.
A lot of farmers have lost interest, some disappointed, disgruntled and don’t believe in all the scam the government calls grant for agricultural purpose even when you follow due process.
Government should make assess to these funds easier by reducing the number of intermediaries and processes involved in its assessment, there should be a single agency in charge and concerned with the welfare of farmers.
Also, there should be a direct cooperation with farmers cooperatives to close the huge gaps and regain the trusts of those interested in farming as people that need these loans don’t really get them” he said.
Ugwumba also advised that the nation should insist on organic farming as this will also help drive more investors to the sector, and as well keep Nigerians healthy.
“To get investors, the nation must insist on organic farming, which implies the production and distribution of clean food across Nigeria.
These are foods grown without the assistance of chemicals, preservatives, or fertilizers, but with organic manures and decomposers, because they are feat for consumption.
I am a pharmacist, so I understand the dangers of eating this foods’, he said.
Agriculture is considered to be one of the two areas of greatest promise for investors in Africa, and with oil prices remaining low, investors are being attracted to alternative sectors such as these, he said.
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