Nigeria’s Private Sector Investment In Agriculture Hits $5B
Written by Ruth Tene | From Leadership
As the agriculture transformation agenda of the federal government gains world acclaim, the minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that the Nigerian agriculture has attracted $5.6 billion private sector-driven investments between 2011 to 2014.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Policy Working Group in Abuja yesterday, he said, “The private sector has woken up to see agriculture as the new wealth sector.”
According to Akinwumi, “Between 2011 and 2014, the agriculture sector attracted over $5.6 billion of private sector investments – a record anywhere in Africa – including the recent decision by Dangote to invest $1 billion in commercial rice production in Nigeria – the largest ever single investment in food production in Africa.
“Due to the agricultural transformation agenda, Nigeria’s food import bill declined from $6.9 billion in 2009 to $4.34 billion by the end of 2013, reducing foreign exchange deficits. Between 2011 and 2014, national food production expanded by an additional 21 million metric tons of food, surpassing the 20 million metric tons of food production target set for 2015.”
The minister further stated that there has been a huge decrease on Nigeria’s food import bill following the ongoing agricultural transformation agenda.
Speaking on the current drive in agriculture, the minister noted that with the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has reduced the risk in banks’ lending for farmers and increased the lending rate to farmers
“The Central Bank of Nigeria’s NIRSAL facility to reduce the risk of lending to agriculture is working. Banks are lending to agriculture today more than ever before. The share of lending to agriculture as a share of total bank lending expanded from about 2 per cent in 2011 to 5 per cent by 2013.
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