Food sufficiency hinges on price stability, commercial farming, says Dangote
Sani Dangote, president, Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) and the vice president, Dangote Industries has said that for Nigeria to build a virile agricultural sector and ensure food suficiency, the country must move from its fundamental of subsistent farming to commercial farming and ensure price stability of its agro commodities.
Dangote made this assertion during the annual NABG press conference held in Lagos recently.
“We need to change the fundamental of subsistence farming to commercial farming if we are to feed ourselves as a nation. We need to put the smallholder farmers into clusters and provide them with irrigation facilities, funding and likes to go into commercial farming,” Dangote said.
“Also, there should be a price stability that would make farmers willing to produce more and increase their production areas. There should be a minimum price for the producers and a maximum price for the processors,” the NABG president further said.
He stated that with the current fragmented approach the country cannot achieve much as a nation in terms of food security, employment generation and poverty eradication, saying that the sector can only realise its full potentials when the fundamental problems in the sector are addressed.
He noted that there is overwhelming evidence that lack of affordable financing, inadequate infrastructure, lack of supply securities, inconsistencies of government policies and regulations are top constraints facing agribusiness investment in Nigeria.
According to him the passage of the Bill on National Agribusiness Investment Plan for Food and Nutrition Security in Nigeria into law would address observable constraints in the sector, adding that there is probable evidence that government efforts are yielding good result in tackling some of these constraints.
“We believe in the current efforts being made at both the state and federal tiers of government to focus on the creation of enabling environment to diversify the economy away from oil and gas towards food and agriculture-based economy.
“For example, we believe the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme is in the right direction towards reducing the constraints of affordable financing and guarantee off-take markets for locally grown and locally produced staple foods,” he added.
Speaking on NABG’s call to action in 2018, Dangote stated that the association shared vision is to work together with successive government to help ensure food and nutrition security and creation of jobs and wealth opportunities for all Nigerians particularly women and youths.
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