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FG targets 50% agric sector contribution to GDP in 10 years

As Nigeria joins other nations of the world to mark the 2021 world food day, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, has expressed optimism that the sector’s contribution to the Nigerian economy will increase exponentially from 23 per cent to over 50 per cent in the next 10 years.

Speaking during the roundtable discussion on Agro-preneurs success stories and mentorship clinic on Thursday in Abuja, Abubakar noted that the government’s economic diversification policy and investment of agro-preneurs projected Nigeria to become the largest producer of rice in Africa from 2019 and the first in Cassava and Yam production globally.

According to the minister, the agric sector has a long standing role in Nigeria’s economy with 70 percent of the population being engaged in the sector.

“The potentials across crops, livestock, horticulture and fisheries sub-sectors are enormous. Therefore, it is the ingenuity of entrepreneurs like some of you here that would add value to our produce and guarantee the revenue generation potentials of the sector.

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“With concerted effort of Agro-preneurs, I am very optimistic that the contribution of agriculture to the Nigerian economy will increase exponentially from 23 per cent to over 50 per cent in the next 10 years. And that is how we will actualize the vision of President Buhari of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10years.”

Speaking further, the Minister called on entrepreneurs to invest in livestock, horticulture, fisheries among others to take Nigeria into self-sufficiency and food security.

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He explained that the expectations in the agriculture sector could only be achieved when entrepreneurs take deliberate actions to invest in different value-chains.

“The potentials across crops, livestock, horticulture and fisheries sub-sectors are enormous. Therefore, it is the ingenuity of entrepreneurs like some of you here that would add value to our produce and guarantee the revenue generation potentials of the sector.

“It is the involvement of entrepreneurs like you that would provide innovative solutions to the immense challenges in the sector.

“This year’s celebration marked the 41st edition of the World Food Day in Nigeria, as well as marking the 76th anniversary of the founding of the FAO and the 61st anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence as a Sovereign Nation.

“It is on record that Government economic diversification policy to agriculture, as alternative to oil and gas, and the investment of agro-preneurs projected Nigeria to become the largest producer of rice in Africa from 2019, the first in Cassava and Yam production globally. It also ranked the 14th in Maize production and 4th in Palm oil. Now we have notable domestic brands in rice that are competing with foreign international brands,” he said.

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