Former Vice Chairman, Poultry (FARMERS) Association of Nigeria (PAN) South West, Nigeria, Chief Emmanuel Folorunso Ogunaike has urgedÂ Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan led-Federal Government to invest and develop agriculture in the country as it will serve as an alternative income generation source of economic growth for Nigeria.
â€œNigeria has great potentials in achieving huge benefits for a more sustainable economic growth in the global world,â€ he said.
He disclosed that if FG can aggressively develop the non â€“oil sector (agricultural and solid minerals), it is capable of triplingÂ the countryâ€™s current foreign exchange earnings, which mostly comes from crude oil.
Ogunnaike added that agriculture is critical to Nigeriaâ€™s journey to Vision: 2020.Â â€œAgriculture when properly practiced can be a major driver of growth and development for NigeriaÂ as it offers income diversification, increased national productivity and job creation.â€
OgunnaikeÂ regretted that for close to 50 years now, Nigerian government has been paying lip service to agriculture and its commercialization.
According to him, the pace of industrialization of such countries as India, South-Korea, Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand among other Asian Tigers, is attributed largely to commercial agriculture, as well as their ability to add value to what they have.
He stressed that withÂ collective efforts to strengthen the Nigerian agriculture and food sector, stakeholders need to come together to boost the capacity ofÂ small â€“ scale farmers and the need to seek enabling legislation to protect the interest of small â€“ scale farmers through the enactment and implementation of a Right to Food Act.