Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, has said that the African continent holds the major solution to the global food problem.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Adesina told Channels Television on Thursday that bulk of the land available for farming around the world was in Africa.
“The issue of global food security is very important. Nine billion people need to be fed by 2050 and there is no doubt in my mind that that requires that we significantly increase agricultural productivity.
“But if you look at where the land really is, most of the land is not in the United States, it is not in South Asia or anywhere in the world. It is in Africa and a bulk of it is in Nigeria.
“We have 84 million hectares of land,” the minister said.
Agriculture as Business
He said that he would continue to push for the optimization of the level of land in Nigeria to enable the country raise productivity with modern technology.
“Africa and in particular, Nigeria, is going to be part of the major solution to global food problem and that requires that we change our approach to Agriculture – Agriculture as a development activity and agriculture as a business.
“And that is what has been happening throughout this world economic forum and it is resonating because it is only when you grow wealth that you can get lots of people out of poverty.
“When you don’t do that, you just normalize everybody over poverty.
“Poverty is not an industry you can’t trade in it and Nigeria and other African countries got to change that,” he said.
The minister also pointed out that women would be carried along in the process, as women form the bulk of the farming population not just in Nigeria but in other African countries.
“As far as the women are concerned, we need to be quite radical when it comes to this issue.
“But when you look at access to finance and access to information, you find that the women don’t have that much to do it,” Mr Adesina explained.
He said that the Electronic Wallet Scheme has been put in place to address these issues.
The scheme was rolled out to ensure that fertilizers and seed get to its end users under the Nigerian government’s Growth Enhancement Support Scheme. It also provides farmers with necessary information that will aid them in their farming activities. It involves the use of the mobile phone to send electronic vouchers to farmers, reaching them directly.
Courtesy: CHANNELS Television, Nigeria