‘New Devt Initiatives Can Attract Youths and Women Agribusiness’

Former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sunny Echono, said on Thursday that investment in research and new development initiatives would attract youths and women into agribusiness.

Echono said this in Abuja at the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition workshop titled: `Driving the Diversification of the Economy through the Private Sector investments in Agriculture and Agribusiness.`

"We must invest in research and development and new product development initiative to attract youth and women into investing in agribusiness.

Represented by the Director, Agribusiness Department, Mr Ohare Jatto, the former permanent secretary, said agriculture required long-term capital investment and good planning for high productivity.

Echono, who is now the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications, expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment to make Nigeria attractive to investors.

"On our part, we promise to create the enabling environment to drive competitiveness and inclusive growth.

"Together, we shall restore Nigeria’s past glory in agricultural production and agricultural export trade, `` he said.

Echono commended both local and foreign agribusiness investors, who had contributed enormously to the formulation of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Dr Tony Bello, an Agribusiness Specialist for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) quoting Grow Africa 2014 annual report, said Africa had attracted $ 10 billion of private investment.

He said Nigeria had attracted $3.8 billion (N760 billion) in the last two years, saying that the country accounts for 40 per cent of the total private investment in Africa.

Bello said 20 domestic investors and 16 foreign investors had issued letters of intent in support of the New Alliance in the country.