The managing director, Eurobase Group, Don Ekeobasi has said Nigeria’s arable land has the capacity to generate $100 billion annually.
He said “If Nigerians take agro value chain seriously, Nigeria can be like Chile and many other countries which survive on agriculture, with huge foreign reserve and favourable balance of trade in their favour, if she adopts and applies the right technology that are shown at the workshop.”
Ekeobasi stated this while speaking at the Agricultural Value Chain Workshop on Diversifying Nigeria for Export Development, organised by the Ministry the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with Eurobase Group Consult Limited.
According to him “The workshop is a pragmatic solution to the dreadful and terrible situation Nigeria finds herself at the moment, informing the reason for his company presenting six world-leading agro companies to Nigeria for partnership”.
The MD said “if Nigerians take agro value chain seriously, Nigeria’s arable land has the capacity to generate $100 billion annually adding that “Nigeria can be like Chile and many other countries which survive on agriculture, with huge foreign reserve and favourable balance of trade in their favour, if she adopts and applies the right technology that are shown at the workshop”.
He stated further that the world’s commercial agro giants at the workshop have the technologies to turn around the neglected agro value chain of Nigeria within six months, adding that any State, Local Government, commercial or private agro company that adopts and partners with the corporations will be on their way out of recession within a short time.
The partnership, according to him, will boost and achieve sustainable economic growth and job creation.
Also speaking, the minister of agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh revealed the plans of the federal government to introduce a home grown National Feeding Programme to target the vulnerable segments of Nigeria population.
He also called on all players in the agriculture sector to re-double their efforts to take advantage of this opportunity for massive food production.
According to Ogbeh, “Our population of over 170 million makes us a huge market”
He urged that, “We must not be market for others. We must grow our own food. We must feed ourselves. We must create markets locally and internationally for our farmers, and unlock our enormous potentials in agriculture”
He affirmed that the private sector will remain in the lead, stating that, “It is in the light of this that my Ministry launched a time-bound aggressive plan to unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential through the Agriculture Promotion Policy (2016-2020) – The Green Alternative, the purpose of which is to provide a disciplined approach to building a resilient agribusiness ecosystem that will solve the core issues at the heart of limited food production and delivery of quality standards.
Ogbeh posited that the Policy intends to unlock the potentials of the agricultural sector through the creation of enhanced opportunities for private sector investment, and ensuring additional steady inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the sector.
He said the value chain approach of integrating efficient primary production with modern processing and facilitation of access to market, with Government providing the enabling environment, policies and incentives for a private sector-led agricultural transformation is geared towards boosting sectoral growth. He also informed that the agricultural insurance market is being restructured to enable greater participation of private sector insurance companies.