“Nigeria is undergoing rapid changes in its agriculture sector.”
Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria, has announced that the country expects about 3.5 million jobs to be created in the agriculture and allied industries by the end of 2015 with the current policy and institutional reforms taking place in Nigeria.
President Jonathan made this announcement at a meeting with members of the Eminent Persons Group EPG on the transformation of Nigeria’s agricultural sector in Geneva, Switzerland.
The newly formed EPG Group includes influential global leaders that are expected to advise the President on actions to help achieve Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda as well as providing a global platform to encourage investment in the country’s agricultural sector.
The group was joined at the Geneva meeting by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Akinwumi Adesina; Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and other chief executive officers of global multinational and Nigerian corporations.
A statement released by the President’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, quoted the President saying that “Nigeria is undergoing rapid changes in its agriculture sector. We have stopped viewing agriculture as a development program, but now as a business that can assure food security, create wealth and generate jobs.”
“Private sector investments are rising significantly as a result of our bold policy reforms. I am confident that with the support of the private sector and the donor community, Nigeria’s agriculture will further drive economic growth and unlock new opportunities for millions of our farmers and agribusinesses,” he added.
Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina had introduced the Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Action Plan (ATAP) last year to provides a comprehensive government strategy that will reduce the cost of food imports, diversify the economy and develop rural areas of the country.
The goal of the plan is to industrialize the sector by making it more productive, efficient and competitive. Over the next five years, it is anticipated that the plan will add 20 million tons of food to domestic supply and create 3.5 million jobs along the agricultural value chains.
Policy analysts in Nigeria have welcomed the announcement by the president as it will help reduce unemployment in Nigeria drastically.