From Theresa Egba, Abuja
In its desire to make the private sector the engine of economic growth and diversification of the economy away from oil and gas towards industrialisation and agricultural sector, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has entered into partnership with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) to drive the identification, prioritisation and implementation of micro reforms in Nigeria.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the launch of Micro Reforms for African Agribusinesses in Nigeria (MIRA-Nigeria), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sunny Echono, disclosed that the technical support by AGRA to partner with the ministry and NABG in identifying and reviewing the list of problems in agricultural policies, laws, regulations and administrative practices was timely and most welcomed assistance.
Echono, who was represented by the Director, Agribusiness and Marketing, Ohiare Jatto, said the goal was to work together for a win-win outcome in removing constraints facing local agribusinesses that sell inputs to and buy outputs from smallholder farmers in Nigeria. According to him, “the approach adopted by AGRA in helping to identify missing or ambiguous, economically flawed, excessive and poorly implemented micro reforms across select African countries is pleasing,” adding that one of the major constraints facing private sector agribusiness investors in Nigeria has been lack of consistency in policies and regulations from one administration to another.
“There is need to focus on fixing the agricultural value chains through targeted public-private investments to improve agricultural supply chain and logistics, food processing, access to affordable financing, building market linkages, and expand regional and international trade of agricultural commodities and value added food products,” he stated.
In her remarks, the President of AGRA, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, who was represented by Head of Policy and Advocacy, Boaz Keizire said AGRA’s role was to build the capacity of agricultural systems from technologies to agro enterprises.
Kalibata noted that AGRA’s overall vision of success will be centred on two headline goals to achieve by 2020 through its efforts to catalyse, convene and align with an alliance of partners and grantees.
Source : SunOnline