Increase investment in Nigeria’s agriculture – Analyst

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A speaker and partner at Price water house Coopers (PwC), Mr Oladele Oladipupo, has called for better investment in Nigeria’s agriculture value chain, to boost the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country.

Oladipupo who made the call at the just-concluded Agrofood fair in Lagos, noted that the level of agricultural yield in the country owes largely to the absence of concentration on the agriculture value chain, which he explained as a set of linked activities that work to add value to a product.

He added that it involved the flow of products, knowledge and information, finance, payments, and the social capital needed to organize producers and the communities.

“What we have noticed in Nigeria is that we focus more on production. Once we plant, we just want to reap. Nobody is talking about the quality of the inputs, nobody is talking about how we leverage technology in agriculture, nobody is talking about logistics or warehousing, while we have 32 million hectares cultivated, we are not getting the right value for the 32 million hectares. For the last 4 to 5 years, the Nigerian agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP has hovered between 22 to 25 per cent, but in 2017 it hit an all-time low of 21 per cent contribution to GDP,” he said.

Oladipupo also condemned the low export income in agricultural produce, in comparison to Nigeria’s increasing imports and demand for foreign produce.

“Nigeria imports $2.9 billion worth of agriculture produce. Our key imports are rice, meat, dairy products, meanwhile, we only export income of about $0.6 billion dollars. And why is that? It is not that we do not produce, we do produce and export quite a lot of raw agricultural products. The problem we have is that we have not invested enough in the value chain,” he said.

Oladipupo also called for the input of the findings of science and technology to improve agricultural production in the country.

 

Peace PIAK