The Federal Government’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) have so far received combined investment indication worth over $6 billion from leading global institutions, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed.
Adesina, while receiving a delegation of Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) Infrastructure Trade Mission from the United States in Abuja, listed some of the companies and institutions as China-Exim Bank, $1.5billion; World Bank, $500million; OPIC and Ford Foundation, $250 million each.
The rest include USAID with $100 million; IFAD with $80 million; DfID, 37 million pounds; Bill & Melinda Foundation, $ 5million; and UNDP, $1.5 million.
In all, the minister said over $1billion has been committed as indicated investment interest since 2012 to boost the ATA priority value chain products and processing including cassava starch and flour, sweeteners, fruit concentrates, sorghum, palm oil, parboiled rice. Similarly, he gave the global players interest as over N47 billion in infrastructure development, mechanisation and training, among others.
Adesina said the amount would be used to address major agricultural sector constraints, especially infrastructure like the poor road, unreliable power supply, lack of processing, storage and marketing facilities.
The minister disclosed that some US-based companies like the Belstar Capital Ltd had indicated interest in the livestock supply chain development for the staple crops processing zones (SCPZs) while the AGCO is for mechanised farming and training across all the SCPZs.
He added that Obax company would be involved in the cassava flour; Cargill in the production of cassava starch and sweeteners; Dominion Farms for the investment in the parboiled rice mill as well as 30,000ha rice farms, and Lee Wright Farms would engage in rice contract farming. Adesina explained that the support would be used for the change needed in the sector, especially channeled infrastructure investments to improve productivity and downstream value-added activities.
According to him, the infrastructure needs on the first 12 SCPZs would range between $195 million to $585 million, saying Kogi State SCPZ is being picked as pilot as a centre of excellence for cassava production and processing.
He stated that part of the objectives of SCPZs is to attract private sector investors in high food production areas to set up processing plants; channel infrastructure investment to facilitate efficient value chain linkages and reduce the cost of doing business as well as create jobs and drive rapid rural growth.
Speaking earlier, the OPIC executive vice president, Mimi Alemayehou, had informed that 17 companies from the US would be involved in the Nigeria’s ATA infrastructure development, noting that high potentials abound in the country. She said: “There is no reason for Nigeria to be importing food being a country endowed with abundant resources”.