Agribusiness Group (NABG) has called for the enactment of a law on National Agribusiness Investment Plan for Food and Nutrition Security in Nigeria, noting that with it, it is confident that the present administration will achieve sustainable success in its commitment to build upon the foundations of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the previous administration.
NABG President, Sani Dangote, who stated this during the group’s press conference in Lagos, with the theme: “Strengthening Agribusiness Investments Partnership Platforms In Nigeria,” said the law is intended to remove some of the major constraints facing private sector agribusiness investment in the country.
He said lack of affordable long-term financing; lack of government coordination; policy inconsistencies; lack of supply security; inadequate public-sector infrastructure investments; lack of applied Food and Agricultural Research Science and Technology Transfer Capacity; lack of Consumer Insights and Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Best Practices; lack of Local Content Foreign Direct Investment Policies, Regulations and Laws; and lack of Climate Smart Agriculture Best Practices, are some of the major constraints facing the private sector.
As part of its specific objectives for 2018, he called for increase in crowd funding at affordable single digit interest rates for agricultural investments to at least N1.8tr in the country.
Dangote said the crowd funding, which currently stands at N700b should be increased to at least 10 per cent target of agricultural contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that there should be fundamental shift towards commercial farming mindset from subsistence farming by millions of smallholder farmers, women and youth entrepreneurs.
According to him, Nigeria needs to scale up irrigation farming best practices (at least two crop cycles for grains and fresh produce) to ensure supply security of locally grown raw materials that meet the demand of food and beverage processors.
He said, “our vision for 2018 is to facilitate the drafting of a bill and its passage into law of a National Agribusiness Investment Plan for Food and Nutrition Security in Nigeria.
“Our specific goals include sharp focus on policies, regulations and laws to promote affordable financing, significantly improve the agricultural input and output markets and the processing of locally grown staple foods into nutritious, conveniently packaged consumer food products.”
The group also advocated immediate passage of the Fertiliser Quality Control Bill, which public hearing held on November 14, 2017 and immediate passage of the Seed Bill, which had passed the first and second readings at the House of Representatives, and currently at the 3rd reading stage.