As African countries strive to key into the agricultural sub-sector identified as crucial for the continent’s future, Nigeria is poised to take the lead in the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) initiatives.
With estimation that Foreign Direct Investment in agriculture in Africa will increase from $10 billion in 2005 to $45 billion by 2020, the size of the agriculture and agribusiness sector in Africa is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2030.
Nigeria is the first country to develop the electronic wallet system for reaching farmers with subsidised farm inputs on mobile phones.
Today, several African countries, India, Brazil and China have expressed interest in adopting the electronic wallet system.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in an opening remarks at the just concluded Agric Expo disclosed that the Growth Enhancement Scheme introduced in Nigeria was one of the initiatives that indicated the country’s seriousness at tapping into this agric growth projection in Africa.
According to him, within two years, the e-wallet system reached over 8 million genuine farmers as high quality fertilisers and improved seeds reached millions of farmers, food production rose dramatically, and food security of 40 million persons in rural households was improved.
The minister noted the initiative has opened up the sector to new investors with $5 billion combined investments in fertiliser manufacturing by Dangote, Indorama and Notore.
With the investments brought by GES, Nigeria expects to become a net exporter of fertilisers within three years.
He said: “We must let the light shine on African agriculture. Like diamonds in the rough, we must buff up agriculture and focus on agriculture as a business. Only then will its impact shine.”
Adesina stated that was so much to exhibit in agriculture with abundance of potentials to take lead, adding: “Think of our agricultural potential first. With over 84 million ha, abundant water and cheap labour, Nigeria is poised to become a major player in global food and agricultural markets. At the forefront of our effort was reforming the corrupt government-dominated fertiliser procurement and distribution system.
SOURCE: Reuben Abati
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