Nigeria targets share of Africa’s $1tr agribusiness market
With a projected growth of $1 trillion in the African agriculture and agri-business sector by 2030, President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled an agenda to ensure that Nigeria benefits from opportunities availed in the sector.
According to President Buhari, the urgency of unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential is pertinent adding that Nigeria strives to drive a private sector led agricultural transformation, while also paying close attention to potential challenges such as inequality and impact on small holders.
Buhari while speaking at the yearly general meeting and conference of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in Calabar, recently, decried that Africa expends $35bn yearly on food import while boosting the economies of countries and continents thereby depleting its own and exporting jobs.
To tap into the growing agribusiness market, Buhari stated that his administration’s goal will be to pursue a government supported private sector-led agricultural value chain, make agriculture more productive, efficient and competitive through the production of enough food for domestic food supply, as well as create jobs along the agricultural value chain.
With over 84million hectares of arable land, of which only 40 percent is cultivated; a population of 167m, making her Africa’s largest market; 230bn cubic metres of water; and abundant and reliable rainfall in over 2/3 of its territory, he noted that the country has some of the richest natural resources for agricultural production in the world.
Buhari, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Baba Umar Farouk, said: “Today, seven of the 10 fastest growing economies of the world are in Africa. But there exists a paradox.
The growth is not inclusive, as hundreds of millions only hear about the growth numbers, but feel alienated from the growth process.
Africa’s rural economies habour the greatest share of those been left behind or excluded. “There is no doubt in my mind, therefore that we need a new growth model in Africa; one that will stimulate shared prosperity, create jobs for millions of our rural youth and unlocks the huge sleeping potentials of Africa’s vast agricultural lands.
Agriculture must cease from being treated as a development programme. Agriculture must be treated as a business. “Africa has no business being a food importing region.
With over 65 per cent of the arable land left to feed the expected 9bn people in the world by 2050, Africa should become a net exporter of food.
The size of the agriculture and agri-business sector in Africa is expected to grow to $1trillion by 2030. Foreign direct investment in Agriculture in Africa will increase from $10bn in 2015 to $45bn by 2020.
To unlock this potential, we need to direct resources, both public and private, to agriculture, the sector which employs close 80 per cent of African and accounts for about 40 per cent of Africa’s GDP.
“A nation that does not feed itself becomes a threat to its sovereign existence. Growing our own food, processing what we produce, becoming competitive in export markets, and creating jobs all across economy, are crucial for our national security.
“As we drive a private sector led agricultural transformation, we are also paying close attention to potential challenges such as inequality and impact on small holders.
We embrace growth and make it work for our farmers and our rural communities. Agri-business, with their huge market pool and demand for raw materials for their factories, can unlock the much needed market opportunities that have eluded farmers and expand jobs so crucial for the rising youth population in the rural areas as we have a policy that allows agri-businesses to have secure access to land, working closely with states, local government and communities.
Such arrangements allow for transfer of technology, development of infrastructure, creation of market facilities, while unlocking shared prosperity between small holders and large commercial farmers”.