The President of International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr Kanayo Nwanze, has challenged the federal government to create the right policies for the development of Agriculture in Nigeria.
He said that the provision of the necessary infrastructure for seamless production and transportation would add great value to the sector.
He was speaking in Ogun state, southwest Nigeria, while visiting a private farm at Iboro in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state.
“I think the nation has awoken to the fact that oil does not feed people.
“We have not gotten better; some people have gotten richer but the population has gotten poorer.
“We have to go back to basics and the basics and fundamentals for Nigeria’s development is agriculture,” he said.
The IFAD President said it was a shame that Nigeria spends a lot of money on unnecessary food importation into the country.
He warned that government must avoid policy somersaults in order to fully tap into the agricultural value chains for national development.
“I think we make the mistake by thinking government would do all.
“Government has primary responsibility – the right policies and social investments.
“They must provide basic social requirements – good roads, energy, electricity, water and access to financial services.”
While expressing the resolve to partner with government in the production of maize, sorghum and rice, he called on Nigerians to take advantage of government policies.
“The population has a responsibility to take advantage of those opportunities.
“Government cannot provide jobs for Nigeria’s 175 million people. It is impossible.
“If a government employs more than 15% of its population , it will go bankrupt,” he said.
The Anambra state Government has revealed plans to commence supply of Sorghum, as Delfarms Songhai Farms in Anambra has adequate capacity to produce and supply sorghum from next year.
The Anambra state Governor, Willie Obiano disclosed this during an inspection visit to Intafact Beverages, Onitsha, to review progress made so far in the company in which Anambra state is a shareholder.
During the inspection, the Governor expressed satisfaction with the growth of the company as they inspected various departments of the plant.
Addressing the press after a private meeting with the administrative officials of the company, Mr Obiano said his administration will continue to create the enabling environment and framework that will continue to support investors while creating opportunities for the people of the state to drive the economy forward with a win-win situation for all.
Responding to the visit of the governor, the General Manager of Intafact Beverages, Mr. Lukas Van-Daventer, was full of commendation for the state government for its support in raising the business profile of the company through a favorable business environment.
Mr Van-Daventer assured that the company will not disappoint the state but would continue to create an investment future for the people of the state as well sustain its corporate social responsibility commitment.
Intafact Beverages Plant in Onitsha, Anambra state was commissioned in August 2012 with an initial investment of 100 million US dollars with Hero lager beer and Grand Malt being the major drinks.
But between 2014 and now, it has grown above two hundred and fifty million US dollars investment with a production capacity of 2.7 million hector liter per annum which represents fifty percent production increase.
The Anambra State government as a shareholder in the company owns ten percent shares of the company and aside the massive contributions of the previous administration to the establishment of the company, the present administration has also made thirty percent investment contribution to the company.
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has directed the full implementation of the FADAMA 3AM Project, with immediate payment of 112 million Naira counterpart fund for 2015 and 2016.
The project is in line with the World Bank objective of achieving self- sufficiency in food production all year round.
Governor Obiano gave the directive in Amawbia during a visit of the World Bank FADAMA team led by World Bank Senior Communication Specialist, Professor Obadiah Tohundhet.
The World Bank official was in the state to intimate Governor Obiano on the agricultural developmental initiatives in the FADAMA project in which Anambra State has been selected alongside five other states in the area of Rice production.
The Governor assured the World Bank representative that supporting initiatives in Agricultural sector was a major policy thrust in his four pillars of administrative development blueprint.
Also at the meeting were the members of the Anambra State Executive Council.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture explained the state of FADAMA activities at the inception of Obiano’s administration and said it was poorly implemented, but stressed that subsequent intervention by the state government had activated the project which culminated to the visit of the current FADAMA team to the state.
The leader of the World Bank Fadama Team introduced the current project which would target aggressive and massive production of four crops in six states which included Rice, Cassava, Maize and Sorghum.
He commended Anambra State for successfully completing FADAMA 3 Project, with a special appreciation to the Governor for his passion towards the development of agriculture to fight poverty and food insufficiency in the state.
Professor Tohundhet, however, noted that poor payment of counterpart funds by states would be the militating factor in the implementation and achievement of the full objectives of the project.
Responding to the presentation of Professor Tohundhet, Governor Obiano highlighted the activities of the state in rice production and concluded that the FADAMA project would be an added value in what the state was already doing.
The enthusiasm displayed by the present administration of Governor Obiano in agricultural development has not only attracted huge investments into the state but also given employment to youths but according to the governor, the ultimate aim is to ensure food sufficiency and bring to an end poverty amongst the people.