Agriculture: FAO insists on private sector involvement

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The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has said the best way for Nigeria to attain its full potential in agriculture is for the private sector to get more involved.

The new Country Representative of the UN agency, Fred Kafeero, during the assessment of FAO interventions in Maiduguri, Borno State, said there is great potential for Nigeria in agriculture adding that there’s a need for the involvement of all stakeholders to achieve this.

Kafeero said: “Nigeria is a very important agricultural country. When you talk about agricultural potential, you are talking about the potential in several sub-sectors of agriculture.

“These include fisheries, as the country has both freshwater and the sea water-all these are fishery resources that could be fully harnessed and exported.

“What about the livestock sector? Nigeria has the largest herd of livestock in the Northeast sub-region.

“It has vast fertile arable land, with which various crops could be produced and processed to add more value to the system.

“When you talk of forestry resources, which are part of agriculture, Nigeria has all that. The point is how can we mobilise each and every stakeholder to support the government in this respect?”

He made it known that the harnessing and development of the agricultural, forestry and livestock resources cannot be done by government alone.

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He said: “The role of the private sector has to be incorporated in the development of agricultural and livestock resources.”

He was of the notion that government can set the enabling environment for all of them to operate, stressing that the drivers of agriculture are the organised private sector.

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