FG Partners AGRA On Micro Reforms In Agribusiness | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Partners AGRA On Micro Reforms In Agribusiness

Posted: Jul 31, 2015 at 12:12 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor Emejor,  Abuja

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has resolved to partner the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) to implement some micro reforms in the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono, made the resolve on behalf of the Federal Government at the launch of Micro Reforms for African Agribusiness in Abuja.

The Permanent Secretary, represented by the Director, Agribusiness and Marketing, Engr. Ohiare Jatto, stated that Nigeria’s agriculture has been receiving a major boost now that the private sector has taken the centre stage of activities in the sector.

Echono explained that the goal of government is to attract private sector agribusinesses through investment facilitation from early stage and going through the investment lifecycle, using reforms, regulations, laws and administrative practices adding that, “The private sector has become the engine of Nigeria’s economic growth”.

He commended the efforts of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group for joining hands with AGRA in accelerating investments in the agricultural sector through advocacy for options in policies and incentives.

He however identified inconsistency in policies and regulations as one of the major constraints facing private sector agribusiness investors in Nigeria.

He listed issues of affordable financing and innovative insurance products, infrastructure and lack of security of supply of raw materials for food processing as part of the constraints.

Echono however expressed satisfaction with the approach adopted by AGRA in helping to identify ambiguous, economically flawed and poorly implemented micro reforms across selected African countries.

According to him, “Nigeria’s choice by AGRA as a case study would provide a benchmark for other African countries in growing the agricultural sector across Africa”.

Earlier in his remarks, the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr. Agnes kalibata, represented by the Head of policy and Advocacy, Mr. Boaz Blackie Keizire, stated that AGRA was formed with a vision of developing agricultural technologies in close communication with farmers.

Dr. Kalibata said AGRA has supported the growth of Agro entrepreneurs in seeds and fertilizers across the continent, saying over 25,000 Agro dealerships have been created by the organisation around the continent of Africa.

She explained that the role of AGRA was to build the capacity of agricultural systems from technologies to agro enterprises and maintained that Nigeria would play a critical role in making green revolution happen in Africa.

In the opinion of the Executive Leadership Co-ordinator of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere,   there was a disconnect between the agriculture players and government policy formulators and therefore called for synergy among the agricultural dealers and better partnership among farmers, saying, “The future should be greater than the past”.

The Micro Reforms for African Agribusiness (MIRA) project is aimed at building the capacity of African Governments to continuously review and reform regulations that unintentionally limit private investment in local agribusinesses that provide inputs to, or purchase outputs from smaller farmers.