Nigeria’s 2013 Agric Highlights

Feeding Africa through Agricultural Innovation
A day in the life of a Farm intern

Nigeria’s 2013 Agric Highlights

Below are a few things that happened in the Agric space in Nigeria in 2013

  • In 2013 we spent $11 billion importing basic food commodities including; wheat  ₦635 billion, Rice  ₦356 billion ( ₦1 billion per day) and  ₦97 billion on fish. All of which was paid for by forex earned from the sale of crude oil.
  • Nigeria and South Africa produce 979,000mt and 100,000mt respectively of pineapples a year. Yet South Africa produces and exports pineapple juice to Nigeria.
  •  Nigeria and South Africa produce 150,000mt and 50,000mt respectively of mangoes a year. Yet South Africa sends processed mangoes to Nigeria.
  • The Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) gathered momentum. It’s primary objective is import substitution, this would be done in close collaboration with the private sector.
  • In 2013, 11,000 enumerators were hired and registered 10 million farmers, who were issued electronic wallets. This helped make the fertilizer and seed distribution seamless. Farmers got 50% government rebate on the cost of fertilizers through their mobile phones and they were given all their seeds free. The electronic wallet system saved the government  ₦25 billion.
  • Federal Department of Extension came into full effect in 2013 to carry innovations to farmers.  Significant progress has been made towards the set up of the marketing corporations. These corporations are like marketing boards but are not run by the government.  These will be market institutions that will help farmers with market price information, access to grades and standards, markets and infrastructure.
  • Agriculture is being modernized for farmers by attaching basic farm inputs to the phones farmers are received; this has turned the table much to the benefit of the farmers and away from the middleman.
  • The Nigerian Agribusiness Group was set up to ensure that areas of incentives and challenges of the private sector are addressed in an institutionalized manner.

Rice Revolution

  • Rice transformation agenda is aimed at making Nigeria self sufficient in rice by 2015. The FG targeted the production of more paddy rice and expansion of the nation’s capacity to mill rice to international standards.
  • Operators in this sector include Dominion Farms in collaboration with T.Y Danjuma Group in Taraba state.  They will invest up to $40 million in 30,000 hectares of land. In 18 months they are expected to produce 15% of rice being imported into Nigeria and will be the largest Rice Farm in Africa. Tariff on brown rice was 5% and white rice was 30%, due to abuse they were both raised to 30%.  Government is actively protecting rice investors in the country.  14 large scale integrated rice mills have been set up.

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