Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

The Federal Government on Monday said that in the last four years, it had attracted total investments of about $5.6bn (N896bn) from private investors to the agriculture sector.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said this in Abuja at the inauguration of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Policy Working Group.

He said the government was able to attract the investments through the development of the agricultural value chains.

The minister said the group would help to document the agricultural policies of the government and institutionalise them.

Adesina said, “The private sector has woken up to see agriculture as the new wealth sector. Between 2011 and 2014, the agriculture sector attracted over $5.6bn of private sector investments.

“Private sector investments in fertilizer manufacturing have also expanded, with $5bn of private sector investments in fertilizer manufacturing within the past three years.

“To drive this new approach, we decided to focus on promoting investments and the development of agricultural value chains. Not only will we produce more food, we will add value to all the commodities all across the agricultural value chains.”

The minister also noted that the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending of the Central Bank of Nigeria had reduced the risk of banks’ lending to farmers.

Adesina said the government must ensure that farmers were encouraged and supported through sustainable and subsidised agriculture inputs.

He said, “Nigeria cannot become a museum of poverty. Poverty is not tradable and is not an industry; so, we must not grow poverty.