Private Sector Involvement in Agriculture Essential – FAO

NEWSMAN, Maiduguri — Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has said that private sector involvement in agriculture will enable Nigeria reach its full agricultural potential.

Speaking during the assessment of FAO interventions in Maiduguri, Borno State, the new Country Representative of the UN agency, Fred Kafeero while addressing journalists 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. He also said “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 asked.

Kafeero pointed out that the government alone cannot do all the harnessing and development of the agricultural, forestry and livestock resources, adding that “the role of the private sector has to be incorporated in the development of agricultural and livestock resources.”

He noted that the government can set the enabling environment for all of them to operate, stressing that the drivers of agriculture are the Organised Private Sector (OPS), as it can contribute to research, development, new innovations and technologies, Thisday reported.

Kafeero however said the FAO has always provided technical expertise in the agricultural and livestock sectors of the economy, and lamented that 600,000 people in the Northeast have been added to the category of those in hunger with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

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