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You can not develop agriculture with low budgetary allocation, IITA DG tells FG

Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nteranya Sanginga has stated that the federal government’s allocation for agriculture is way less than what it needs to develop the sector.

This was stated by Saginga while speaking to journalists on Thursday at the IITA conference centre.

Saginga said African leaders have not made adequate financial commitment towards advancing agriculture.

President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2021 said his administration’s investment in the sector has yielded visible results, adding that the future of Nigeria is in agriculture.

Under the Buhari administration, budgetary allocation for agriculture was 1.70 percent in 2017,  2 percent in 2018; then it fell to 1.56 percent in 2019, and 1.34 percent in 2020. In 2021, it slightly increased to 1.37 percent.

In the 2022 budget, N291.4 billion (1.8 percent) was allocated to the agricultural sector. This includes N71.8 billion for personnel cost, N3.7 billion for overhead and N215.8 billion for capital expenditure.

Commenting on the budgetary allocation, Sanginga said the federal government cannot develop agriculture “with that kind of investment”.

Sanginga, who is the first African DG of the institute, called on African leaders to start viewing agriculture as a business rather than a social activity.

“Some of the major programmes we created here include the youth programme, STEP, which the governor of Oyo state has really embraced. Analysing all of that, I think the missing link is the political dimension,” Sanginga said.

“In Africa, you hear every head of state say agriculture is a priority but when you go to the budget, agriculture is the least of the budget.

“African leaders are not serious about agriculture at all. I’d say almost 90 percent of the countries in Africa still consider agriculture as a social activity, so they are waiting for donors, foreigners to finance agriculture with grants. You can never be serious with that.”

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