FG Seeks 50% Agriculture Contribution to GDP as Stakeholders Moves to Minimise EU Rejection of Produce
James Emejo and Sonia Mayomi in Abuja The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, has expressed optimism that with concerted efforts by of agricultural entrepreneurs, the …
James Emejo and Sonia Mayomi in AbujaThe Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, has expressed optimism that with concerted efforts by of agricultural entrepreneurs, the contribution of agriculture to the Nigerian economy would increase exponentially from the current 23 per cent to over 50 per cent in the next 10 years.
It came as the federal government and stakeholders in the sector debate on how to limit the rejection of the country’s agricultural commodities in their international market particularly the European Union (EU).The minister said adding value to agricultural produce would ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next decade is actualised.
He spoke at the opening of a roundtable discussion with stakeholders in agro-preneur and food safety segment and award presentation as part of activities to mark 2021 World Food Day ceremony, themed: “Our Actions are our Future, Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and Better Life.” headtopics.com
The engagement was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to commemorate the 2021 World Food Day celebration.The minister said sharing success stories and accomplishments among operators in the agriculture value chain would serve as motivation to the teaming youth, “who are the future of the country to see agriculture as promising sector they could build a successful career. It is the involvement of entrepreneurs like you that would provide innovative solutions to the immense challenges in the sector.”
He assured that the drafting of the forthcoming National Agriculture and Technology Innovation Plan (NATIP) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, would consider the report of roundtable discussion for possible inputs.He pointed out agriculture had a long-standing role in Nigeria’s economy with 70 per cent of the population being engaged in the sector.
Citing data by the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), he said the sector contributed 23.78 per cent to GDP thus topping seven other sectors with the most contribution.Abubakar, however, noted that that agriculture has the potential to be a key driver of growth, job and wealth creation given the country’s viable agro-ecological zones, youthful population and agro-industrial linkages as well as lift a sizeable number of the population out of poverty.
He added that the 5.01 per cent of the Q2 2021 GDP increase was made possible due to the investments in food processing and manufacturing.He said it is on record that government economic diversification policy to agriculture as alternative to oil and gas and the investment of agro-preneurs projected the country to become the largest producer of rice in Africa from 2019 and the first in cassava and yam production globally. headtopics.com
According to him, Nigeria is also ranked the 14th in maize production and 4th in palm oil.He said,” Now we have notable domestic brands in rice that are competing with foreign international brands.“The expectations we have in agriculture to take Nigeria to the promise land could only be achieved when our entrepreneurs take deliberate actions to invest in different value-chains.
“The potentials across crops, livestock, horticulture and fisheries sub-sectors are enormous.He added that the ingenuity of entrepreneurs would add value to crop produce and guarantee the revenue generation potentials of the sector.Also in his remarks at the occasion, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, reiterated the commitment of the ministry to support millions of Nigerian smallholder farmers who are working towards the attainment of food security.
He said the engagement would proffer solution to the challenges bordering on the country’s agricultural commodities rejection by the EU.He said, “The discussion should revolve around possible ways to improve global acceptance of the agricultural commodities for export without fear of rejection by international communities.Read more: THISDAY LIVE »
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