10 June 2013, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization, APO, LONDON, United-Kingdom — Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina attended G8 Food Security and Nutrition events this weekend where Nigeria was announced as a partner country in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a G8 initiative to catalyze private-sector investment in African agriculture. Speaking at the New Alliance meeting as the representative of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister Adesina noted that inclusion in this global partnership of G8 nations and private sector partners will help Nigeria achieve its Agricultural Transformation Agenda to create 3.5 million new jobs and provide over N300 billion (US$2billion) of additional income for Nigerian farmers.
“We have bold targets for Nigeria’s agriculture transformation and the world is noticing,” said Minister Adesina. “And Nigeria’s inclusion in this initiative backed by all the G8 countries, Nigerian agribusinesses and major multinationals will leverage our domestic resources to deliver on our country’s agricultural promise. We are already seeing results from bold policy reforms, donor country support and private sector commitments. This is our moment. The New Alliance will ultimately help Nigerian farmers and agribusiness to sustain this momentum.”
As one of the newest members of the New Alliance, Nigeria will be a strong advocate for substantive initiatives to improve agricultural production and incomes, focusing attention on empowering women farmers. The country’s new partnership will continue to drive the imperative to reduce food import bill, promote domestic and regional markets, and create jobs across the entire value chain, ultimately keeping the country on track to meet its agriculture target of increasing food production by 20 million metric tonnes of food for 2015.
“Nigeria believes that agriculture is a business and that the role of government is to provide an environment that enables the private sector to succeed,” said Minister Adesina. “What joins all our food policies is the imperative to reduce our import food bill, promote domestic and regional markets, and create jobs across the entire food value chain.”
This global partnership reinforces Nigeria’s ties with the private-sector to strengthen investment, create jobs and diversify the country’s economy. To date, 28 companies have signed letters of intent to invest a total of more than $3.3 billion in the country’s agriculture sector. “These companies are not doing this for charity. They see the rapid growth in our agricultural sector and vote for Nigeria with investments”, said Minister Adesina. Nigeria has adopted bold policy reforms that have led to the creation of a major farmer registration program that has reached 10 million farmers in two years, innovative agricultural financing to leverage financing from commercial banks in agriculture, the use of mobile technology for reaching millions of farmers with seeds and fertilizers, access and security to land, and increased bio-fortification to improve nutrition.
As a part of its membership in the New Alliance, Nigeria is committed to improving food security and nutrition by impacting on 10 million farmers by 2015 and lifting them out of poverty. Working in partnership with G8 countries, Nigeria will focus on generating greater private investment in the agricultural sector, scaling innovation, achieving sustainable food security outcomes, increasing income especially of smallholder farmers, and ending hunger.
About Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda
The Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) is the largest ever government-enabled private sector-led effort to grow agriculture in Nigeria. This comprehensive effort aims to increase domestic food production, reduce dependence on food imports and expand value addition to locally produced agricultural products. Through de-regulation, attractive financing, concentrated infrastructure investments, and competitive policies, the sector will be more productive, efficient and competitive. Specifically, the plan will add 20 million tons of food to domestic supply and create 3.5 million jobs by 2015.
About the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition
The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a commitment by G8 nations, African countries and private sector partners to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through inclusive and sustained agricultural growth. It responds to strong African commitments to promote and protect food security and nutrition – articulated in multiple settings since 2003 and validated by tremendous progress made in Africa since 2009. The New Alliance builds upon and will continue the progress made by G8 nations since 2009 at the L’Aquila Summit, and offers a broad, inclusive and innovative path to strengthen food security and nutrition.