Nigeria’s Agricultural Potential Unveiled

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In a keynote address delivered in Iowa, Vice President Kashim Shettima laid bare the immense scope for agricultural investment within Nigeria. His speech revealed the Nigerian government’s ambitious plan to establish mechanised farm centres in all of the country’s 774 local government areas; a move designed to fortify national food security.

Shettima passionately highlighted the staggering agricultural opportunities that Nigeria presents. With roughly 70 Million hectares of largely untapped arable land, equivalent to 75 percent of the nation’s total land area, Nigeria emerges as a prime destination for both domestic and international investors seeking to amplify agricultural productivity.

To support this endeavor, Shettima pointed out that Nigeria has embraced key agricultural initiatives such as the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), the Green Imperative Project (GIP), and the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programs. These programs signify the government’s earnest commitment to transforming the agricultural sector into an economic powerhouse.

Also, Shettima discussed the government’s dedication to agricultural research and development through the National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF), ensuring that Nigerian farmers have access to the latest innovations and technologies.

Emphasising the importance of agriculture in the national agenda, the Vice President declared that their primary objective is to empower farmers and attract investors. He expounded on the government’s mission to augment primary production, fostering the economic potential of agro-processing and industrialisation.

Shettima’s words illuminated the close nexus between food security and national stability, particularly in a world grappling with unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and global geopolitical tensions. He also said that Nigeria acknowledges the significance of partnership in its journey to enhance food and nutrition security.

The Vice President proudly highlighted collaborative efforts with esteemed institutions such as the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Development Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These partnerships reflect Nigeria’s earnest commitment to forging innovative strategies that can transition the quest for food security into a thriving enterprise.

Shettima also shed light on the government’s initiative to reduce the country’s reliance on imports. He submitted that Nigeria’s strategic location in West Africa, with easy access to regional and international markets, and the introduction of supportive policies like the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), are set to facilitate this transformation.

Notably, the government has implemented measures such as zero duties on agricultural machinery and restrictions on specific agricultural imports to stimulate local production. A range of tax incentives, including tax holidays, deductions for locally sourced materials, labour incentives, and pioneer status incentives, have been put in place to facilitate business operations.

Furthermore, foreign investors are encouraged to invest in Nigeria with the promise of 100 percent ownership in companies and the unrestricted repatriation of profits and dividends.

The Vice President’s speech at the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue resonated with the audience, eemphasising Nigeria’s determination to make agribusiness a top national priority. Ambassador Terry Branstad, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, commended Shettima’s leadership qualities and unswerving commitment to nation-building, expressing optimism that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency would usher in a new era of result-oriented diplomacy.

Present at the event were dignitaries such as Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang, Minister of Agriculture Sen. Abubakar Kyari, and Consul General (New York) Amb. Lot Egopija, all of whom affirmed the Vice President’s submission about Nigeria’s dedication to transforming its agricultural landscape. In the grand scheme of things, it was a day that showcased Nigeria’s promise as a burgeoning agricultural powerhouse, eager to welcome investors and propel its agribusiness sector to new heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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