Foreign investors from the United State of America (USA) would invest $6 billion into Nigeria's agricultural sector, the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Akinwunmi Adeshina has said.
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tony Elumelu Foundation on agribusiness in Abuja Tuesday, the Minister said the funds would be invested on sugar-cane plantation in the north and cassava plantation in the southern part of the country.
Adeshina said there would be two plants in the north that will use about 100,000 hectare of land each for sugar-cane, which would be their own nucleus farm, and about 70, 000 hectare for cassava in the south.
The minister reiterated government's support towards facilitating the private sector financing needed to grow the agricultural sector.
Under the MoU, the Foundation would station an investment advisor with the ministry in order to build capacity to engage domestic and foreign direct investors.
Adeshina said the ministry has made recommendation to the Head of Service of the federation to create a whole department for Agribusiness in the ministry to build internal capacity for agribusiness.
Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Former CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Mr. Tony Elemelu blamed wrong agricultural polices by governments of African countries on ignorance.
According him, African countries adopt wrong agricultural policies due to lack of awareness, so the foundation seeks to provide capacity to African government, which the foundation have done in Sierra Leone and Liberia and now the turn of Nigeria.
Elumelu said the foundation would conduct a study on failed agricultural projects in the country, so that the information would be available publicly to Nigerian private investors and foreign direct investors who seek to invest in agriculture to take advantage of.
He also said the Foundation has just signed a MoU with a foreign investor to set up a fertilizer plant in the country.
"This will be in the public domain as part of our contribution to grow agriculture in the country," he said.
"The fellow we are sending to the ministry is one of the most accomplished fellows, we believe as a foundation in the role of the private sector, and we also realize that the private sector cannot do much until it gets the necessary back-up that will unlock investment opportunities," Elumelu said.