The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, has said that foreign investors, who are interested in doing business in Nigeria, are having a cold feeet because of lack of data.
The minister gave the explanation during the 2017 Agricultural Performance Survey Public Presentation and Stakeholders’ forum in Abuja.
Sen. Lokpobiri, lamented that lack of database for agricultural sector has not only made the sector unattractive to both the foreign and local investors but also has continued to retard the growth of agribusiness in the country.
The Federal Government has been working on making agriculture the main stay of the nation’s economy in view of the abundance natural resources bestowed upon Nigeria.
However, the absence of data is stalling the growth of the sector, among other challenges.
For the first time in 30 years, the Ministry of Agriculture is making public the outcome of the 2017 National Agricultural Performance Survey, which was done in collaboration with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The study highlighted challenges that affected food production during the 2017 wet season farming to include: climate change, absence of government input support, insecurity, kidnapping, poor support for agricultural extension.
Despite these challenges, there is an increased land area for production, with 35 per cent higher than that of 2016 in all areas of agriculture.
The report identified maize as the most cultivated crop in the country, accounting for over 5 million hectares of land, which produced over 10 million metric tons.
However, the government wants these data collection to be regular to encourage investment in the nation’s agriculture sector.
The ministry hopes to make the presentation of the outcome of the survey a yearly exercise to enable Nigeria and global community plan their business, stressing the need for research institutes to publicise and commercialise their research findings.