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Agriculture `ll foster Nigeria’s economic recovery, if well positioned – Expert

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The Convener, Feed Nigeria Summit 2020 (FNS2020), Mr Richard Mark-Mbaram, says agriculture sector will foster Nigeria’s economic recovery, if well positioned and adequately incentive provided.

Mark-Mbaram, also the Managing Director of AgroNigeria, made the assertion on Saturday at a press briefing held virtually in Lagos, announcing the Feed Nigeria Summit 2020 slated for Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.

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According to him, the summit will focus on positioning Nigeria’s agricultural industrialisation.

Its theme is: “Agribusiness: Leading Nigeria’s Recovery.”

Contributing, Prof. Eustace Iyayi, Chairman, Organising Committee of the summit, said that it would focus on how Nigeria could make full economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by piggybacking on agro-industrialisation.

Iyayi, a Professor of Animal Nutrition and Feed Biotechnology, said the summit aims at encouraging conversation around key evidence-based solutions for recalibrating the Nigerian economy.

He said this was by leveraging the agricultural sector’s transformative capacity.

“FNS2020 can draw attention to the huge gap that continues to exist between production and need.

“This gap can be significantly reduced by funding support to the private sector to boost production against next year.

“Farmers and other operators need to be given incentives, because many already have their businesses wiped out or significantly downsized due to COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Iyayi also said that FNS2020 would serve as the platform to unveil the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP).

“SAPZ Project is a Federal Government of Nigeria’s collaborative project with the AfDB, and is to be executed in partnership with FMARD and other key partners.

“While AfDB is supporting the project with 500 million dollars, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has pledged a 200 million dollars support fund.

“With SAPZ set for take-off in January 2021, FNS2020 will play a key role in laying the foundation for the project’s effective start.

“Beyond discussion, FNS2020 must push for industrialisation. Something just has to push us to that next level. FNS2020 could be that something and the time is now,” he said.

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