As part of its bid to enhance local food sufficiency, the Federal Government says it has approved new incentives for investors in the agricultural sector to improve high-level private sector participation in the nation’s food production and processing industry,
the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, made this known in Abuja on Thursday during the 29th edition of the LAPO Annual Development Forum with the theme, ‘Financing agriculture and rural development initiatives in Nigeria: Issues and way forward’.
Among the incentives included tax and duty-free holidays for a period of five years for agricultural production and processing in Nigeria; tax-free agricultural loans with a moratorium period of over 18 months and repayment period of not more than seven years; and zero-tariff rates on the importation of agro chemicals.
While calling Nigerians to invest in agriculture, the minister explained that the sector was experiencing a reinvigoration with dedicated policies of the Federal Government aimed at allowing the private sector to get involved and make more contributions in growing the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
He said, “Agriculture will continue to be an established driver of Nigeria’s GDP growth. The agricultural growth in Nigeria has steadily increased from 3.48 per cent in 2015 to 6.48 per cent as of 2020.
“The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, harps on the imperative of improving the country’s agricultural produce and turning agriculture itself into big business.”
The minister reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment towards creating investment opportunities for the private sector to participate in industrialising the agricultural sector; adding that its annual budgetary allocation to agriculture had been increased.
Abubakar stressed that the government was making efforts across the length and breadth of the country to ensure sustainable food security and agribusiness as its core.
He said, “The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has established viable institutions, which provide services that will accelerate the tempo of private investment in Nigeria’s agriculture
“We have shown more commitment to secure investment in agriculture by increasing budgetary allocation from seven percent to 10 per cent.”
He also said that under the proposed National Livestock Transformation Programme, some areas of cooperation would have to be addressed for the private sector to consider
They included beef and dairy production and processing, veterinary drugs and vaccine production, sheep and goat production, animal feed production and several others.
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