Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, last week, rubbished the country’s agricultural sector, saying it is characterised by low productivity and under-performing value chains.
Nanono, who spoke in Abuja while inaugurating the National AgCelerant Technical Committee, which is expected to mobilise financial support for small farmers, added that food import level negatively affects trade balance.
In a statement signed by an Information Officer, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, he said, “our agricultural sector is characterised by low productivity, under-performing agricultural value chains, and food import level negatively affecting our trade balance, among others.’’
Nanono further said, “we need to start reversing this trend by harnessing the huge potential in the agricultural sector for sustainable development through partnership and engagement with willing stakeholders who genuinely believe in our beloved nation and are ready to lend us helping hands.”
He pointed out that, “the AgCelerant is a novel value chain orchestration platform connecting smallholder contract farmers and producers with banks, insurers and input providers and agro-industries to control risks and improve the productivity, security and welfare of millions of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.’’
The minister also said, “the promotion of phygital agriculture to encapsulate the emergent opportunity for robust physically-based, digitally-driven solution to improve agricultural production and productivity in Nigeria towards sustainable and transparent global food systems of the future cannot be over-emphasised,” he added.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar, said, “the first national AgCelerant Technical Committee will lay the footsteps for the acceleration of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.”