Unveils plans to revive Cotton industry, build value chain
As Ecobank Plans Agric Summit 2020
Nigeria is endowed with vast mineral resources and arable land that can produce enough food to feed the nation and for exports, if well harnessed, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono, has boasted.
The Minister also says that Nigeria boasts of 40 percent of Africa’s arable land with good climate, rivers and varied crops capable of making the country the leader in food production and export if properly managed.
Nanono, lamented however that there was a missing link between Nigeria’s high agricultural production capacity and agricultural yield, pointing out that efforts must be urgently made to close the huge gap between the two areas.
The minister spoke in his office in Abuja on Thursday when he received the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, who was in his office to discuss the bank’s investments in agriculture in Nigeria and Africa and to invite him to a major agricultural summit to be jointly hosted by the bank and Vanguard Media Limited on February 13, 2020.
He said that given the need to make agriculture a major business in Nigeria to drive investments and create jobs for millions of Nigerians beyond the 70 million farmers, the ministry had taken steps to revive the dying cotton industry, which has huge potential as a value-chain.
The minister also said he had received numerous proposals from foreign investors on how to establish major agricultural businesses in the country so as to boost the country’s food stock and provide employment for Nigerians.
To be able to drive the agricultural sector successfully, Nanono, disclosed that a new agricultural policy for the country was being worked out and invited Ecobank and other interested parties to identify with the plan.
The Ecobank Nigeria CEO, Patrick Akinwuntan, told the minister that the bank had been deeply involved in the development and financing of agricultural production across Africa and was keen to still contribute its quota to more agricultural projects and programmes in the country.
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Akinwuntan, who was accompanied by other senior officials of the bank, and Vanguard Media Limited, disclosed that the bank was planning a strategic agricultural summit in collaboration with Vanguard Media Limited for February 13, 2020, in its bid to promote investments in the agricultural sector and boost food sufficiency in the land.
Responding to the invitation for the summit, the Agric Minister assured that he would be personally present in order to present the country’s agricultural plans and programmes to the world and seek areas of collaboration with investors and commended Ecobank and Vanguard for the initiative.