NGO urges FG to give priority to agribusiness
The Society for the Promotion of People`s Rights, an NGO on Wednesday urged the federal and state governments to give special attention to agribusiness in enhancing development.
Mr Williams Osaze, the President of the organisation gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Osaze said that agribusiness was a good strategy for economic development, wealth creation, job creation and huge source of foreign exchange.
According to him, agribusinesses are companies involved in one or more stages of production of crops and livestock.
He said that examples of agribusiness activities include manufacture or distribution of agricultural supplies and equipment such as machinery, feed and fertilisers.
He explained that agribusiness might sell items to farmers for production, provide services to other agricultural business or be engaged in the marketing, transportation, processing and distribution of agricultural products.
The president said that government should provide conditions conducive and incentives for the private sector to engage profitably in agriculture.
According to him, it is time for the country to move into agriculture as there is decline in oil prices.
“As you can see the country is experiencing inadequate food supply, our youths are unemployed, inadequate raw material for industrialisation, among others.
“Attention should be given to agriculture at the highest political level and farming should also be treated as a business.
“Government at all levels should provide adequate infrastructure for transportation, and storage must be provided; there should be stability in the price of agriculture commodities.
“Agriculture financing should be kept at single digit rate of interest; agribusiness should be developed,’’ he said.
Osaze said that adequate support should be given to agricultural research and best practices within and outside Nigeria should be adopted.
He said that establishment of agro-service centres within reasonable distance for the farmers should be made available.
The president urged the governments to focus on the transformation of the agricultural sector.
He, however, advised the states to develop an agricultural initiative programmes, adding that agriculture was an important factor in the development of any state.
Osaze said that the programmes would help to tackle unemployment, provide adequate food and encourage youths to embrace agricultural activities.