Nigeria: Agribusiness to get $1.8bn investment boost

Portrait of male worker carrying box on vinyard
Portrait of male worker carrying box on vinyard
Portrait of male worker carrying box on vinyard

A group of investors have donated the sum of $1.8 billion to develop agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria, according to the country’s Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono.

Echono made the announcement at a press briefing during the first Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Agribusiness Group held in Lagos.

“Your recognition that smallholder farmers are the largest private sector group in Nigeria has helped to foster economic growth in rural Nigeria as you provide guaranteed off-take markets for millions of smallholder farmers across the country,” he said.

Acknowledging the private sector as the engine of growth of any economy, he however lamented that for decades the private sector in agriculture was unfortunately crowded out, and agriculture was treated just as a development program, with dominance of government.

He also said that the United States will assist and train Nigerian farmers in the next agricultural planting season as decided during President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent trip to Washington.

The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan had started to focus on the agricultural sector as one of its mainstay from 2011 on, in a bid to boost food production and ensure self-sufficiency. The policy yielded a 70 percent growth in food production.

The production of rice and cassava received more attention as the output of Nigerian rice farmers was over 2.8 million metric tons of rice paddies. This had also culminated in the introduction of dry season farming.

Buhari’s government has now listed agriculture as one of its main means to boost the economy in the midst of dwindling oil prices.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3571 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network