The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over the nation’s inability to take advantage of enormous opportunities in its agricultural space.

The chamber stated that Africa’s largest country by market size is gradually getting the attention of international investors keen to maximize profits from the country’s vast natural resources such as fertile land and export crops including sesame seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa beans, groundnut, rubber, timber, yam and sorghum among others.

The president, LCCI, Toki Mabogunje, at a webinar organised by the agricultural group of the chamber themed, “Exploring agribusiness opportunities in the Southwest, said despite opportunities in the sector, it is still grappling with numerous productivity challenges.

Mabogunje said that the revenue from agriculture used to the mainstay of the south west region before the oil boom of the seventies, adding that the same was true of many other parts of the country.

”Major projects like the cocoa house were funded from revenue from agriculture, but regrettably, the advent of oil changed the story and led to the relegation of agriculture in the scheme of things. This webinar comes at a time when there is renewed focus on economic diversification and self-reliance. If the Covid 19 has taught us any lesson, it is the reawakening about the critical importance of economic diversification, self-reliance, and backward integration,” she added.

Also speaking at the event, Chairman, LCCI Agricultural and Allied Group, Mr. Mogaji Africanfarmer, said agribusiness is more than food production. It affects security, job creation and shapes the nation’s culture, economic development, national security and sustainability”.

He advised the economic managers to look inwards amid coronavirus threats to prioritize development in the nation’s agricultural sector. “Covid-19 has presented a neutral ground for Nigeria to influence the global agric space, but this can only be achieved if we work together,” he added.

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