A consultant to the World Bank, Prof Abel Ogunwale, has advised the government to invest in infrastructure and value-added production.
Ogunwale, a lecturer in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, noted that growth in agriculture would require an increase in infrastructural investments.
He said farmers expected state governments and organisations to help boost production, noting that the sector would be attractive to investors because of favourable political and legal environment, and freehold ownership, among others.
While some investors are well-established in commodities markets, Ogunwale noted that poor infrastructure and volatility were scaring others away.
He said investors focus on agriculture’s assets and explore opportunities in areas, such as land, grain elevators and food processing plants.
He observed that Nigeria is lagging in agric infrastructure, citing irrigation system and other facilities which need renovation and investment.
Ogunwale bemoaned the sector’s low capacity, urging the government to open up the industry for investments.
He urged the government to support commercial aquaculture, breeding, monitoring and warning systems and epidemic surveillance systems.
He implored the government to encourage free trade to unlock its agriculture capability by implementing reforms, deregulation nd easing rules for investors.
He said improving the environment for agriculture would bring benefits, and contribute to stronger economic growth.
According to him, improved barge, rail and port facilities could boost food production, adding that improving infrastructure will attract capital into the agribusiness sectors.
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