The maiden edition of the National Agribusiness Summit has commenced in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Major participants at the Summit, which was declared opened today, November 23 by the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, are relevant stakeholders and investors.
The minister assured the stakeholders of the commitment of the federal government to sustain robust agricultural sector of the nation’s economy.
He stressed the resolve of the federal government to revamp the non-oil sector of the economy.
According to the Minister, government has deliberately designed Agricultural Investment Incentives to support high level private sector participation.
”Also, the agro-industry is experiencing a renaissance with dedicated government policies towards encouraging farmers and investors and increasing the contribution of the agricultural sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
”We are committed to a robust and sustainable agricultural sector with a stable and viable economic climate for Local and Foreign Investments.
”The Federal Government has deliberately designed Agricultural Investment Incentives to support high level private sector participation.
”While some of these incentives are in form of tax holiday, exemptions and reliefs, there are many that leverage on specific government policies, performances of companies as well as relevant international investment treaties.
”Nigeria has huge potential in Agriculture with over 84 million hectares of arable land of which 40 per cent is cultivated, a population of over 200 million making it Africa’s largest market. 230 billion cubic metres of water making it one of the richest sources of agricultural growth in the world.
”The agricultural sector currently account for 24.14 per cent of the nation’s GDP and 75 per cent of the total non-oil exports.
”The GDP for agriculture in Nigeria averaged US$17.6 billion from 2010 – 2015 and reaching an all-time high of US$23.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014.
”Let me emphasise that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development remains committed to regular engagement with relevant stakeholders in the Public and Private sectors of the economy with noble and novel ideas to move forward the nation’s agricultural economy.”
The President of the Feed Industry Association of Nigeria, Isiadinso Obialuju, said that the association is happy to be part of the summit, adding that the summit would attract youths to agriculture.
Also, the President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ezeikel Mam said that the importance of agriculture to a nation cannot be overemphasised.
Ezekiel Mam, who said that he saw anybody investing in agriculture as a patriotic person, stressed the need for the government to fund agricultural research very well.