Nigeria Gets A $174.85M To Boost Agriculture From AfDB

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Nigeria Gets A $174.85M To Boost Agriculture From AfDB

Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Support Program (ATASP-1) has received $174.85 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Bank says it will support the construction of the infrastructure and value chain development including program management for the Country’s four Stable Crop Processing Zones (SCPZ); Kebbi-Sokoto, Kano-Jigawa, Bidda-Badeggi, and Adani-Omor.

Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who was in attendance at the official launch event of the AfDB’s Assisted Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase-1 (ATASP-1). The Minister said the program will be carried out in Niger, Enugu, Anambra, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto and Kano states. Their output is expected to add an additional 20,000 metric tons of the key commodity crops produced by Nigeria per year; in addition to creating 200,000 new jobs.

The move is being seen as an excellent attempt to diversify the country’s economy, away from heavy dependence on the extractive industries such as petroleum and minerals. The Minister reiterated the need for Nigeria and Africa at large to diversify their economic activities in order not to fall victim to the decline and volatility of petroleum and other extractive industry’s products.

The engine of growth with the greatest power to spur Africa into global value chains and create jobs for inclusive growth is agriculture. Africa’s wealth is more than petroleum. It is now time to unlock Africa’s soil wealth via agriculture.” Said the Minister.

To address the multiple infrastructure challenges facing agribusinesses, we have developed a new model of clustering infrastructure for agriculture – SCPZs. Private sector agribusinesses will be provided incentives to move into rural areas to establish food-processing companies that will add value to agricultural produce in the country.

To reduce the cost of doing business, government will upgrade the availability of electricity, water, roads and gas supplies to the SCPZs, which, when fully developed, will add up to $9 billion to the GDP and create over 250,000 jobs. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the SCPZ policy. The journey to turn our rural areas into new economic viability areas has now begun. The agricultural insurance markets are being reformed to allow greater participation of private sector insurance companies. The National Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) is rolling out new crop insurance products (planting with peace) with the target of reaching five million farmers with affordable crop insurance.”

According to the Minister, the Nigerian government had set up a $100 million private equity fund; Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN), in collaboration with the German Development Bank and the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund to give more financial boost to the country’s agribusiness sector.

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