TheSun | 26, March 2020

The Federal Government has disclosed that Nigeria’s agric sector still needs massive foreign direct investment from investors willing to invest in the sector.

According to the Deputy Director, Department of Investment Promotion of the Nigerian Import Promotion Council (NIPC), Babagana Imam, who  disclosed this in Lagos, this is imperative this year in order to achieve food sufficiency and food security  for the country with  particular focus on the African Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA) priorities.

He said the contribution of the country’s agric sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) is yet to meet the potential the sector has in abundance towards driving the non-oil sector of the economy in line with the Federal Government’s diversification agenda.

Imam noted that the country’s agric sector is expected to achieve 27.7 per cent contribution to the country’s GDP this year, adding that FDIs are the leeway to ensure that the set objective for the sector this year is met in all ramifications.

He explained that a Chinese firm is in negotiation with the Federal Government to boost rice production in the country with 20,000 metric tonnes, which will be key to the country’s agric value chain.

“There is a Chinese investor willing to contribute to Nigeria’s rice sector. From my interactions with them, I think they said that on one hectare of land they can produce over 10 metric tonnes of rice and they want to reach 20, 000 metric tonnes of rice this year. And this is some of the improved seed investment the country needs at this period. Now, the cost of agric chemicals is very costly and we need investors to come in and also produce more agro allied chemicals so that it will be affordable for the farmers.

When you look at the production along the agric value chain, because of the issues of pests and diseases, we need the chemicals and other pesticides and herbicides. So we need investors to come in and produce them. “We also need investors on tools for mechanisation. Now, as government has diversified the economy in the productive system as agric manufacturers, doing farming mechanisation is key, so we need more tools and it is an opportunity for investors to come in.”

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