This Day (Lagos)

16 August 2012

Africa: Nigeria Can Lead Africa in Agriculture

The President, Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Judith Rodin, has said Nigeria had the capacity to be the agricultural hub of Africa and the continent's leader in food security.

She stated this after a session on financing agriculture with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.

Rodin, who was accompanied by Interim Chair of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Mr. Strive Masiyiwa,had earlier attended the weekly meeting of the Economic Management Implementation Team (EMIT) and shared ideas on how agriculture in Nigeria could be taken many notches higher.

"We are here because we believe that Nigeria can take the lead in agriculture in job creation, production, processing, and diversification of the economy and overall contribution of the economy. The opportunities here are extraordinary. It is possible if the right things are done and we can see evidence they are being done," she said.

According to her, the experience of the Rockefeller Foundation in helping to create the Green Revolution in Africa has convinced them that Nigeria has what it takes to take the lead in Africa.

Also speaking, Masiyiwa said the country had the capacity to address the challenges in agriculture which it faced, emphasising the work being done to improve the country's agriculture could dramatically improve the economy.

He urged young people to see agriculture as a viable career option because "there is money in agriculture."

Okonjo-Iweala described the visit as "clear evidence that Nigeria is on the right path in agriculture and that the country's efforts to improve productivity, diversity and food security are being recognised by the world."

The minister of agriculture, in his own remarks, said that the country needed "catalytic finance to improve the value chain in agriculture.The world believes in what Nigeria is doing"

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