BY GABRIEL EWEPU
ABUJA—MINISTER of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, was yesterday crowned Forbes Africa Person of the Year, following achievements in the agricultural sector.
Adesina emerged winner among other four nominees in the African region to clinch the award.
Adesina said: “I am truly honoured and humbled by this prestigious award, which I dedicate to Africa’s farmers and the new cadre of young business entrepreneurs who have discovered the hidden gem for sustainable wealth creation on our continent- Agriculture.
“With dwindling oil fortunes, and the end of the telecoms boom, the next big investment frontier is unlocking Africa’s vast agricultural potential to feed the continent and the world.
“The results achieved in Nigeria could not have been possible without the immense support of Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. His passion and leadership inspires us that we can achieve even greater results. For agriculture was Nigeria’s past and in agriculture – as a business – lies Nigeria’s greater future.”
Adesina, who was nominated for his bold reforms in Nigeria’s agriculture sector, has empowered more than six million farmers across Nigeria to embrace agriculture as a business, and had been passionate about the African farmers, as he believes in unlocking opportunities for farmers and changing Africa’s narrative on agriculture to wealth creation.
Within two years of his taking office, Adesina turned agriculture away from being a development programme into a business activity generating wealth for millions of farmers.
”Africa, with our huge potential, cannot be a museum of poverty. My passion is using agricultural business and finance innovations to turn Nigerian and African farmers and agribusinesses into millionaires and billionaires. Nigeria must become a global powerhouse in agriculture,” he stated.