Presidency eyes Ethiopia’s model for agric business

Audu Innocent Ogbeh

Audu Ogbeh

AS part of its efforts to diversify Nigeria’s oil dependent economy and create wealth for the larger population, and in line with its North East reconstruction plan, the Presidency is studying how Ethiopia has substantially boosted agricultural growth and catalyzed the transformation of the sector, The Guardian can report.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, recently hinted that the Federal Government was working towards improving Nigeria’s economy through agriculture.

Ethiopia’s success is said to be hinged largely on the country’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) and the Agriculture Transformation Agency established in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Similar to the experiences of many other countries like Nigeria, a key aspect of Ethiopia’s strategy was to address systemic bottlenecks, while using its innovative Agricultural Transformation Agenda as the vehicle to address bottlenecks in the sector.

Director of the African Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Ayo Ajayi, who confirmed the development, said that Osibanjo, had reached out to the Foundation and had been briefed with relevant documents and details on the Ethiopia’s strategy and success story.

Official statistics have it that agriculture is the dominant sector of Ethiopia’s economy, representing about 45 per cent of GDP, 77 per cent of employment, and 84 per cent of exports of Africa’s second most populous nation with over 96 million inhabitants. It is recorded that the majority of the agriculture sector consists of smallholder farmers who make their living from less than two hectares of land.

Much of Ethiopia’s growth strategy has been focused on agricultural development supported by heavy government investment. Officials said that over 15 per cent of the national budget is allocated to the sector, compared to an average of 2.7 per cent in the rest of Africa.

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  • emmanuel kalu

    This is yet another waste of time, a chance for elected official to waste money, travel over the place and come back with nothing. Nigeria has the ability, the resources, the human capital to transform our agricultural sectors. we just need the leadership that can drive this change. There are too many agencies getting in the way of each other and draining funding. implementation is slow and often confused. what Nigeria needs to do, is create or merge all the agency involved in agriculture into one massive agency in charge of transforming the sector. lease federal and state land to trained youth to farm, and then provide them with necessary input. irrigation, seeds, fertilizer, training, machines and constant supervision. Then dedicate a good amount of money into ensure the program is successful. we also need to stop the importation of food item that we can grow and process, we need to stop smuggling, we need to stop dumping of substandard crops into the country.

    • amador kester

      Good but you can yet learn from success stories to make success or consolidate and adapt it to your terrain

  • Ethiopian_one

    Hope there is more and more of African countries drawing from lessons learned and sharing, it is cheaper than hiring a consultant from the WB

  • Olu

    We had an agriculture minister with the requisite knowledge to transform our agriculture, but we let him go and hired a peasant farmer who was minister 30 years ago. Dr. Adesina brought to the table original ideas and initiatives to transform Nigerian agriculture; the new government should have hired an equally bright mind who would continue where Adesina stopped. The likes of Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin who introduced reforms that transformed Ethiopian agriculture studied the Ethiopian agriculture and proffered tailor made solutions. For instance, Ethiopia has comparative advantage in different categories of commodities than Nigeria; these commodities (e.g. tea) are sold on the international market differently than cassava products for instance.

    Nigeria should proffer original solutions. It is only when a student doesn’t understand the problem and what to do that he attempts to copy another student’s solution to an assignment.