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Lack of strategic thinking stagnating Nigeria’s agric revolution –Stakeholder

By Simeon Mpamugoh

The Programme Director, Chief Executive Officer, Multimix Academy, Dr. Obiora Madu, has said that Nigeria was yet to completely maximise the potential inherent in the agro-business sector even though the country has made some progress from where it was coming.

Madu said this in his Surulere, Lagos office, during a chat with Daily Sun. He noted that the fertiliser cartel was broken during the last administration, adding that, that has helped a lot in the transformation of the sector.

He said, “everyone knows that everything in Nigeria is about cartels and cabals. Even now, the Minister of Agriculture is a farmer; one of the biggest farmers in the country before he was appointed to the position, and listening to him, one would probably understand his laudable programmes for the sector.”

The former pioneer staff of Agro Commodity Export Desk, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), observed that a lot were still missing in the sector, including the absence of extension supervisors.

“Those guys are useful. Apart from that, the world is going organic, and I can’t see any concrete efforts in the area. For example, there is Global GAP Certification usually for fruits and vegetables, and any country that has it would have access to the biggest market for those things in the world as it is where the big traders go to buy.

“Kenya supplies 60 per cent of all the green peas eaten in Europe on the platform of World Mart. These things are not rocket science; if the federal and state governments could get on Global GAP platform on certain quantity of our produce by finding out how many farmers we need to get the job done, the Global GAP officials would come and train them before certification,” he reasoned.

According to him, “we are usually not strategic; we do things on the spur of the moment and what we are talking about is massive in terms of dollars but it doesn’t happen overnight. It is still the same women in the farms in the villages of Kenya that are producing those peas, which means that the certification has spread out from the big farmers to the small ones; sub-suppliers and others, which make it a chain. And before that happens, there are inspections and cold rooms because the produce must be stored in cold rooms such that it creates a whole lot of business.”

He affirmed that Nigeria remains an agro-based nation but wondered if the country was strategic in its approach to development in the sector. “We produce 60 per cent of the world’s shear butter but what quantity of the commodity are  we exporting from Nigeria? he wondered, saying, 

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