• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Government reforms boost Agric Sector in 2014

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The federal government agricultural transformation agenda is gradually yielding fruit as the reforms undertaken in 2014 have begun to boost the sector.

The policy reforms put in place by the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration transformed the lives of farm­ers by ending 40 years corrup­tion in the seed and fertilizer sector within 90 days through the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) of which 14 million farmers have so far benefitted from subsidised farm inputs, with 10.3 million of these beneficiaries (75 per cent) in northern Nigeria.

“Reforms in the fertilizer sector and the gas industrialization policy have combined to open up the sector to new investors. Today, $5 billion of new investments in fertilizer manufacturing are ongoing by Dangote, Indorama and Notore. Nigeria expects to become a net exporter of fertilizers within three years,” said Akinwumi Adesina, minister of agriculture and rural development, during the Agra Innovate Nigeria conference held last year.

Investment by the Private sector in the country has increased immensely since the revolution of the sector. The Private sector has being driving and unlocking the opportunities that abounds in the sector.

Adesina adds that through massive free distribution of high yielding rice varieties, provision of fertilizers and mechanized services, supported by small scale irrigation, rice production has exploded in the country.

According to the federal ministry of Agriculture, the number of rice farmers increased by six million, and the area planted to the crop by two million hectares. Over the same period the number of integrated rice mills rose from just one to 18.

To develop the export market for fresh produce from Nigeria into Europe, a fresh produce value chain development program has been launched in partnership with the Ministry of Aviation, entailing the building of cargo airports to enhance our competitiveness in the export of fresh produce.

In a bid to reform the Agricultural sector, the federal government initiated the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in 2011. The ATA has changed the way agriculture is being looked at. It has made the sector to be investment focused.

 

Josephine Okojie