Mr. Adesina also says the best performing stocks in the Nigerian market today were agriculture-related stocks
Private sector investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector was valued at over $8billion (about N1.25trillion) since 2011, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, has said in Abuja.
The Minister, who attributed the huge investment to the positive impact of the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda on agri-business, said about $4billion was currently being implemented.
He cited the example of Dangote Group, which invested about $9billion in a petrochemical plant and fertiliser manufacturing plant, while Indorama, an Idonesian company, put in $1.3 million into fertiliser manufacturing, and Notore put up $1.5 billion to expand its fertiliser manufacturing plant in Nigeria.
Mr. Adesina said the companies were undertaking the investments because they saw that the direction the countty was going with agriculture as a business was working.
The minister said Syngenta, the world’s leading seeds production and specialized chemicals/pesticides company, also established a company in Nigeria, hiring a number of Nigerian staff.
The minister said the Global Chairman of the company, Michel Demare, had noted that the direction Nigeria was going gave him the feeling that the demand for seeds was going to rise.
Mr. Adesina also said that the best performing stocks in the Nigerian market today were agriculture-related stocks, which he noted, were doing better than banks, pointing out that agriculture was now seen as a viable and profitable sector capable of creating the money that the banks could lend to invedtord.
He said the banks were currently adapting their profit-driven businesses to accommodate the agriculture sector owing to the massive potentials inherent in the sector, adding that through the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support, GES, scheme, banks had begun to offer loans to farmers, seed companies, and agro-businesses, unlike before.
“Last year, the banks lent to those agro-dealers, N3.5 billion, first time ever,” the minister said. “This year, the banks lent N20 billion to those agro-dealers.”
The minister said banks’ readiness to extend the loans offered to farmers and agro-dealers testified to the significant progress that had been made in the sector.