Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina announced yesterday at the 2014 International AgrikExpo held in Lagos, Nigeria, that the size of agribusiness and agric sector in Africa is expected to grow by $1 trillion in 2030.
Adesina, who was awarded Forbes African person of the year in 2013 said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Agriculture in Africa will continue to rise until it gets to $45 billion by 2020.
The minister also stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria’s self-rice sufficiency was initiated to help save $2.5 billion annually. The country currently spends about $4 billion on importation of rice, as recently stated by Nigeria’s Central Bank’s Deputy Governor in charge of economic policy, Dr Sarah Alade.
The Minister said that rice production rose by 4.3 million metric tonnes and the number of integrated modern rice mills in the country rose from five to 15 in the past two years.
As part of Agricultural Transformation agenda by Nigeria’s Government to enhance generation of national and social wealth through greater export and import substitution Nigeria is poised towards becoming a major player in global food and agricultural market.
According to Adesina, Nigeria Launched the Growth enhancement Scheme (GES) where farmers across Nigeria receive subsidized fertilizer and seed via electronic voucher on their phones popularly called e-wallet, as part of effort to fight corruption in the procurement and distribution of fertilizers.
Within two years, the e-wallet system reached over eight million farmers and the production of millions of farmers has risen dramatically. The impact of the scheme has been massive, he added.
Nigeria is the first country in the world to adopt this electronic platform for farmers to purchase subsidized farm inputs on mobile phones.