Going by the huge deficit gaps between demand and supply of food commodities in the country, the Federal Government has urged potential investors to take advantage of the huge market to invest in the country’s agricultural sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh disclosed this during his meeting with a team of Russian investors led by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Udovicnenko Nikolai in his office.
The Minister noted that Nigeria had a huge deficit gaps in the demand and supply of food commodities and expressed the present administration’s readiness to evolve flexible policy that would promote agricultural investments.
“Our demand for rice in Nigeria is 7 million metric tonnes but we produce about 3.5 million metric tonnes, so there is a huge deficit of 4 million metric tonnes.
“The present government is desirous of promoting Agriculture in Nigeria, we are encouraging potential investors to come to Nigeria and invest, apart from production, we encourage processing of agricultural produce,” he said.
Ogbeh urged potential investors, particularly the Russian investors to take advantage of the existing huge market in the production of rice, wheat, maize, fish, dairy, vegetables and other food crops to invest in Nigeria, adding that, there was a huge gap of three million metric tonnes in fish production.
He said Nigeria being one of the largest economies in Africa has millions of hectare of arable land for agricultural production and any investment in Nigeria is a gateway to other African countries.
He informed the delegation that the policy thrust of the present administration is to enhance local production of agricultural produce thereby creating wealth and jobs for the teeming youth and sought for support of Russian Government in areas of agricultural machineries and technical expertise.
Earlier in his address, the Russian Minister of Agriculture, Tkachev Alexander, who spoke on behalf of the delegation said they were in the ministry to explore area of collaboration with the Nigerian government in the development of agricultural sector, saying that Nigeria has huge potentials in Agriculture like Russia and his country is interested in contributing to the economic development of Nigeria through agriculture.
The Russian minister of agriculture said the Russian companies were ready to contribute to the nation’s agricultural sector through dairy, beef, poultry production as well as provision of machineries and technical knowhow.