From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign, a think-tank group of the party, has expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural revolution will attract investment, reduce conflict and ensure that the country achieves food sufficiency.
The group, in a statement signed by Barr Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salihu Moh Lukman, said that the Buhari administration is moving Nigeria steadily towards self-sufficiency in food production.
It noted that the president’s agricultural revolution is enhanced by several critical policies for the enhancement of growth and development.
It further added that such policies include the inauguration of the National Food Security Council (NFSC), Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), National Livestock Transformation Plan, the Anchors Borrowers Programme, and National Fertiliser Initiative (NFI).
‘The AFJP has so far registered and mapped about six million small-holder farmers to their farmlands across the country, using GIS coordinates, and has also commenced the analysis of tens of thousands of soil samples from farms, to guide local fertiliser blending,’ the statement noted.
‘National Livestock Transformation Plan, aimed at accelerating the pace and scope of change in Nigeria’s livestock management system, and enhancing livestock production and productivity, by building a new ecosystem that represents a transition from nomadic livestock management practices to a more sedentary method designed as a partnership between the federal and state governments, with the active involvement of the private sector, investors and international organisations.
‘It will attract investment, create jobs, help manage and reduce conflict, unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s livestock industry, and help Nigeria in the quest to achieve food security. The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP): This programme, led and implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria, was launched by President Buhari on November 17, 2015, in Kebbi State.
‘Since then, it has provided more than N300 billion to more than 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities (including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soya Beans, Groundnut, Fish), across Nigeria, successfully cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland, and helping agriculture enjoy the enviable feat of being the only sector of the Nigerian economy that has consistently posted positive growth rates since 2015,’ the group noted.
It further noted that ‘the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) is another flagship agriculture initiative of the Buhari administration, launched in December 2016 as a government-to-government partnership between the governments of Nigeria and Morocco.
‘Since inception, it has produced and delivered to the Nigerian market, over 30 million 50kg bags equivalent of fertiliser, at reduced prices; and resulted in the revival or construction of no fewer than 40 moribund fertiliser blending plants across the country. That Nigeria today has 44 functioning blending plants, with more on the way, is solely due to the success of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).
‘In every part of the country, the President’s vision and strategy have been yielding results, since 2015. In 2017, the multinational group Olam invested $150 million in an integrated animal feed mill, poultry breeding farms and hatchery in Kaduna State, as well as an integrated poultry and fish feed mill in Kwara State.
‘In Anambra State, the Coscharis Group began the cultivation of rice in 2016, on a 2,500-hectare farm, and soon after expanded into Milling, with the commissioning of a 40,000 MT modular Rice Mill in 2019,
‘In Niger State, the BUA Group is currently completing a $300 million Integrated Facility comprising a Sugar Mill, Ethanol Plant, Sugar Refinery and Power Plant, and a 20,000-Hectare Farm.
‘In Kebbi State, GB Foods has invested 20 billion Naira in a Tomato Processing Factory supplied by what is said to be the single largest tomato farm in the country. Future phases of the investment will make it the largest processing facility for fresh tomatoes in sub-Saharan Africa.
‘The same GB Foods in July 2020 opened its N5.5 billion Mayonnaise production facility in Ogun State, which will be supplied with input from the company’s new farms in Kebbi State.
‘In Lagos, Ariel Foods FZE has recently constructed and completed the biggest Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) production facility in Africa.
‘In Nasarawa State, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has recently completed work on the first phase of a multi-million-dollar animal feed processing facility and a backwards-integrated 3000-hectare Maize and Soybeans Farm, in a co-investment partnership with a South African Investment Group.
‘In 2021, the Dangote Group commissioned its $2 billion Fertiliser Plant, with an annual capacity of 3 million Metric Tonnes, the largest fertiliser plant in West Africa. In June 2021, the plant began delivering an average of 120 trucks of Urea per week to the Nigerian market and is also set to target the export market across West Africa and beyond,’ APC Legacy noted in the statement.