The Fishery Society of Nigeria (FISON) says that the value of the country agricultural sector is estimated to reach about 256 million dollars (over N91 trillion) by 2050. Dr Bola Adekoya, First Vice-President of FISON made the disclosure at the Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) Stakeholder’s Capacity Development” workshop on Monday in Lagos. The workshop was organised by Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural lending (NIRSAL). Adekoya said that the projection was good enough to attract more competent hands, especially the youth into the sector to stimulate economic growth and the wellbeing of the populace.
According to him, the populace is expected to be 250 million by 2050. He said the sector growth figure was 10 times bigger than the 2018 Budget put at N9.12 trillion. Adekoya added that cassava chips and pellets alone would have an estimated value of $1 billion and a growth prospect of 20 per cent per annum. He said that the sector huge growth prospect demanded increased investments to drive and actualise the potential of the sector. Adekoya said that the sector currently contributed about 47 per cent to the nation Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 10 per cent to the export earnings. Also, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, said that the time was apt to tackle most of the identified challenges facing the agricultural sector. He stressed the need to reverse the growth slide recorded in the last decade toward actualising the projected growth value.
Aliyu was represented by Olaiya Oladele, NIRSAL Lagos office Branch Coordinator.
The vice-president of FISON identified some of the challenges to include: low productivity, poor technology, poor agricultural practices, low research and development and under-financing of the agric value chain. “These challenges led to the nursing of a great idea by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bankers Committee and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to establish NIRSAL as the risk bearer. He said the purpose was also to deal with all the inefficiencies in the value chain.
According to him, NIRSAL seeks to trigger agricultural industrialisation process through increased production and processing, to boost self-sufficiency and economic development.
He said that NIRSAL would de-risk agricultural business through five pillars: Risk sharing facility, insurance, technical assistance facility, agribusiness rating mechanism and bank incentives mechanism.