Poor market, mechanisation stagnating agric development ― Minister
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono said the lack of mechanisation, unorganised market and poor logistics has made the potentials of the Nigerian agriculture sector remain untapped.
Nanono who made this known on Monday at the Senior policy seminar of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) held in Abuja, decried that in spite the interventions from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), agriculture has witnessed poor growth.
“We still have poor extension workers as well as the issue of logistics, we need to create mobility for goods and services. We have up to 92 million hectares of arable land but we have only been able to cultivate about 4 million hectares, this is because we are still using the old method of farming in place of mechanisation”.
The Minister noted that Nigeria was far from reaching its target of food security as it currently needs 100 to 200 tractors per 100 square kilometres of land.
Nanono stressed that there was no way the sector can record substantial improvement without mechanisation.
The agric Minister further noted that developing the sector was critical to addressing the issues of unemployment and malnutrition in Nigeria as the sector holds the potential to create jobs through its various value chains.
Also speaking, Executive Director, AERC, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u while calling for combine forces to achieve the best nutrition outcomes, said there is a dearth of quality data to properly inform policies on nutrition.
“Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition point out, there is a dearth of quality data to properly inform policies on nutrition. This has tended to limit the effectiveness of agricultural policies in improving nutrition outcomes”, he noted.
Ndung’u said there has been lack of high-quality policy analyses that explore the effect of agricultural policies on nutrition.
He said AERC’s mission was to strengthen local quality for conducting independent, rigorous into problems Pertinent to the management of economies to enhance the capacity of locally based researchers to conduct policy-relevant economic inquiry context.
“Our vision is to sustain development in Sub Saharan Africa grounded in sound economic management and an informed society”.