INVESTING IN NIGERIAN AGRICULTURAL & AGRO-PROCESSING INDUSTRY
Agriculture production in Africa now accounts for nearly half of the continent’s economic activity. A new World Bank report “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness” indicates that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods.
These projections indicate that agriculture offers the greatest prospects for a three-fold increase in the GDP of Nigeria as agriculture is an important contributor to Nigerian export earnings, major source of inputs for the manufacturing sector, potential vehicle for creating employment and improving the GDP growth rate of the country from 6.8% to the desired 5%. Nigeria cannot experience economic growth and structural transformation without the emergence of a productive agricultural sector.
Main agricultural products in Nigeria:
- Cashew nuts
- Cocoa beans
- Gum Arabic
- Palm oil
- Palm kernels
NIGERIA IS THE 9TH COUNTRY WITH THE MOST ARABLE LAND WORLDWIDE
Nigeria is the continent’s leading consumer of rice, largest cassava producer and Africa’s largest rice importer. The government and private sector therefore need to join efforts to develop ways to enhance cassava’s competitiveness in the international market and improve the efficiency of domestic rice production and processing.
Under the ATA, the Government of Nigeria is expressing its determination to end the era of food imports, particularly rice, and develop cassava and rice value chains to produce and add value to these selected products and create domestic and export markets for farmers.
A range of policies and initiatives to strengthen cassava and rice value chains, from production to marketing are being put in place. However, because of the country’s massive size and diversity, different regions may face different constraints because of a decentralized approach to designing industrial policies and initiatives that may not be in sync with the agricultural policies (IFPRI- Policy Note No. 32, 2012).
The Government of Nigeria is ready to partner with investors who are willing to transform the agriculture sector. This will yield significant returns on any investment spent on developing it in the medium to long term.
It is clear that the goals of the government of Nigeria to attract investors is are to improve on the sustainability of the production of exportable horticultural crops and animal products, reduce the size of rice import bill, encourage domestic processing to mitigate post-harvest losses and create more job opportunities.