The agricultural policy reforms implemented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has attracted over N840 billion (about $5 billion) investments into the agric sector in the past three years.
Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), the number of seed companies Nigeria increased from five in 2011 to 80 in 2014, with Nigerian banks now lending to seed companies in the country.
The policy reforms put in place by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration transformed the lives of farmers by ending 40 years corruption in the seed and fertilizer sector within 90 days through the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) of which 14 million farmers have so far benefitted from subsidised farm inputs, with 10.3 million of these beneficiaries (75 per cent) in northern Nigeria.
As part of the successes of the Jonathan administration, fertilizer producers and inputs and retailers enjoyed a near 500 per cent boost in credit from financial institutions from $22 million to $125 million between 2012 and 2013, $5 billion investments in commitments in the fertilizer sector with $1.3 billion from Notore, $9 billion investment by Dangote Group and $1.2 billion by Indorama.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Agro Nigeria Plc, Richard-Mark Mbaram, said that Adesina policies transformed Nigeria agricultural sector by halting corruption in the sector.
Mbaram, disclosed this recently while addressing newsmen in Lagos, said that the e-wallet system developed by the Minister to deliver fertilizer and seeds directly to farmers via electronic vouchers on mobile phones was the first of its kind in the world.
According to him, African Union as well as several other African countries are now copying the e-wallet system from Nigeria, including Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, adding that beyond Africa India, China and Brazil, are knocking on Nigeria’s doors for the e-wallet system.
With these achievements in the agric sector, Mbaram berated the former Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Bello for attacking and calling Mr. Adesina ‘a lair’ over claims on the success recorded in the ministry within the last three years.
When the former Minister took on the incumbent Minister, stakeholders in the sector expressed shock because many people believe that Adesina approach of making people see agriculture as a business is one of the best things that have happened to Nigerians under the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Presidency.
Mbaram lamented: “For Bello to take on Adesina and begin to discredit him in a manner that I find very disturbing. What the motives are, I cannot understand but they are not positive and the whole Nigeria have a duty to rise and confront this kind of situation because that is what has left Nigeria what it is today.”