This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Jonathan's Stellar Performers Akinwunmi Adesina Lifted Agriculture to Commanding Heights

It did not come as a surprise when President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina to man the agriculture portfolio. He is a technocrat, who is knowledgeable in the field of agriculture.

The minister has been able to pursue the sector's transformation agenda targeted at producing at least 20 million metric tonnes of food for the country by 2015 and generating about three million jobs from the entire value chain of the sector.

Under his leadership, Nigeria commenced the exportation of cassava chips, which has also resulted in the production of high quality cassava flour for bread. In fact, with him in the saddle, the sector attracted about $8 billion of private sector investment in 2012 alone.

In addition, his ministry developed a new programme christened the 'Nigerian Agricultural Entrepreneurs'. The initiative is expected to lead to the creation of 760,000 young commercial farmers in the country in the next five years. These emerging young farmers would require capital from the banking industry in the neighbourhood of N3 trillion.

There are also plans by his ministry to create marketing co-operations. The marketing co-operations, which will be run privately, will play the same role the marketing boards played in the past.

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