The increasing population in Africa and particularly the Nigerian environment has a huge market and therefore is no doubt the best global investment destination for a profitable returns and serious prospective investor in Agriculture. The Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri made this assertion when a team of Japanese investors visited him in Abuja.
Senator Lokpobiri welcomed the investment plans by these Japanese team to Nigeria saying that the population growth, the available human resources and untapped Arable land are great asset to any investor who wants to do business in Nigeria especially when they partner with the Nigerian Local investor who already knows the terrain.
Speaking further, the minister said that the Federal Government with the current Agricultural Policy of it being the next immediate best alternative to oil and gas is also encouraging investors with incentives such as zero import rates and tax duty waivers.
Also Lokpobiri said that Nigeria is yet to maximise her agricultural opportunities in some crops due to lack of capacity in the best global practices in the processing and packaging of these crops, more so in the technical and mechanized method of arresting post harvest losses.
He said there is a huge demand from China for our cassava and pulses for the Indian market, but that our present subsistent farming cannot meet the demands, it can only be attained through sustainable mechanized farming even in the rural area, this he affirmed shall create jobs and wealth for our teaming youths than hanging out in the big cities without good jobs and standard living.
Lokpobiri assured the Japanese investors of Government’s readiness to support them to achieve our need and level of mechanized farming that will ensure the full value chain that will satisfy our food self sufficient, food safety and to also export to the West African sub-region.
Earlier, the leader of the team Akihiko Yoshizumi, Deputy General Manager of Oversea department Mitsui and co, Ltd, said they are in Nigeria to be strategic Partners with the Nigerian local investor such as Dansa to expand their capacity and the production of tomato paste and also they are interested in a long term investment in cassava – Nigeria being one of the greatest produces in the world.
Mr. Akihiko said they are in Nigeria to identify with the requirements in doing agro-business processing and development of sites to support and also participate in the entire Value Chains with Nigerian local investors as partners. He also showed their interest in the growing of cassava especially in the production of starch, which studies have revealed, the Nigerian specie is the best.