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Nigeria
May 27, 2024
AgroNigeria
News

FG Harps on Increased Investment in R&D to Boost Agriculture

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has again reckoned with and emphasised the importance of investing in research and development to grow the agriculture sector of the economy.

The minister, who was represented by the Lagos State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs Omolara Abimbola, stated this at the 4th edition of Agric-Investment and Capital Market Conference 2024, in Lagos.

Kyari said, “Governments and businesses must understand the importance of investing in innovation, research, and development. By supporting entrepreneurship, fostering an environment that encourages creativity and providing resources for start-ups, we can cultivate an ecosystem that paves the way for economic growth and prosperity from here.

“It is through the active participation and engagement of individuals, professionals and investors that the agricultural sector can flourish. This can be achieved by nurturing a sense of togetherness, encouraging collaboration, and investing in infrastructure, education, and social programs.”

 “We must strive for growth that benefits everyone, leaving no one behind must be our watchword. By promoting equality, preserving our natural resources, and embracing sustainable practices, we can foster growth that is both beneficial and long-lasting.”

In her address, the Chief Executive Officer of Welcome2Africa International, Bamidele Owoola, noted that the 4th edition of the AICM was an effort to spur sustainable agricultural development throughout the African continent having successfully facilitated huge investment in agriculture in the continent.

She posited, “We are pleased to announce that Welcome2Africa International successfully facilitated $24 million in investment for various Nigerian Agribusinesses at the Agri-Investment and Capital Market Conference.

“This outstanding accomplishment is a turning point in our mission to strengthen agribusinesses, encourage agribusiness innovation, and propel economic development throughout Africa.”

“AICM 2024 outperformed 2023, securing $12 million in investments and a total of $24 million. This reflects robust support for our goal of revolutionising Africa’s agriculture, achieved through strategic partnerships with global investors via the AICM deal room,” she added.

On his part, the former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, said, “So, I believe that Nigeria is at a crossroads. On one hand, you have a huge population of which a lot of them are farmers, and a lot of them are in rural areas, which means that the smallholder farmer is an integral part of the Nigerian economy.

“When you are dealing with the future of agriculture and agribusiness, you have to deal with smallholder farmers and you have to ensure that the women and the children of those smallholder farmers are taken care of, which means that policy has to bear them in mind.”

According to him, to grow agriculture there is a need to increase access to arable land for mechanised farming.

Cole said, “Nigeria has to have an integral mix between smallholder farmers and large-scale industrial farming. That mix must be done.”

On the way out of food insecurity in the country, Cole said Nigeria must deal with the security challenges facing the country.

He noted that from 2012 to 2023, global food security improved, but Nigeria lagged due to unresolved security issues. The key, as emphasised, lies in tackling security problems to unlock the country’s agricultural potential, and ensure food security.

Cole stressed the capital market’s crucial role in boosting agricultural development, noting that it’s a hub for trade and investment.

“By bringing agricultural opportunities to the market, money flows, enhancing liquidity and attracting long-term investments,” he added.

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