Agribusiness crucial to Nigeria’s economic recovery – Agbaso
A former presidential adviser, Martin Agbaso, has identified agricultural investment as a major driver in hastening the recovery of Nigeria’s economy, which is growing at a slow pace.
Agbaso who is also the chief executive of Agbaso Integrated Farms stated that rising population growth and declining oil revenues have necessitated a greater emphasis on agriculture.
With agricultural investment especially, Agbaso noted that Nigeria can narrow the food deficit gap by half in the next five years.
“This will not only have an influence on food sufficiency, but will also significantly reduce the weight of food imports on our foreign exchange,” he said in a statement.
Agbaso further emphasized that agriculture provides much-needed empowerment to young people and women by creating job opportunities.
“This will go a long way toward improving our country’s security situation by engaging restive youths in new interests.”
“As we shift away from reliance on oil and gas, a well-managed farm delivers a better return on investment than most other areas of the economy,” he said.
“The importance of increasing the country’s foreign cash reserves through commodity and agricultural exports cannot be overstated.”
In taking the lead, Agbaso stated that he has established one of Africa’s largest catfish farms, which has provided around 600 direct jobs for young people.
“Agbaso Integrated Farms is an advanced technology driven integrated farm, setting the pace in production of quality fish, livestock and crops to serve Nigeria’s growing demand for locally grown fish, pork, poultry and vegetables,” he noted.
Located on 35 hectares of land in Emekuku a town within Owerri metropolis with a goal to harness and utilize Nigeria’s natural environment and workforce to create high quality affordable food, he said.
Adding that the Agbaso Integrated farms is expanding in the area of multiple feed production, fish/poultry processing and packaging.
“The local market created by Agbaso farms has moved beyond the south east, south south zones into the Lagos market and beyond. We have $1.5 million monthly export profile.”
“Agbaso farm this year will produce about 36 – 40 million table size catfish and tilapia, we have also made heavy investment in building structures and a system that will sustain the vision of the farm,” he stated.
He also mentioned that the farm has about two kilometers of fish canals that produce many tons of catfish and Tilapia.
“The fish farming segment intended to produce fingerlings, mature them, and prepare them for export, While our farms integrated training program teach young people on multi-level agricultural best practices,” he added.
“We are ready to contribute our quota to the accomplishment of a rich and abundant life for ordinary Nigerians by joining global efforts to achieve self-sufficiency via sustainable agriculture,” Agbaso stated.