International experts in agriculture and food security gathered at the Research in Ethiopia to Feed Africa High-Level Policy Dialogue to track progress and encourage actions to address crucial food shortages in Africa. The policy Dialogue which is part of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2014 was co-sponsored by the Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
The prices of food in Nigeria were stable in Q2 2014 even as the Food and Agriculture and Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index decreased for three consecutive months till June.
The lower prices of wheat, maize and palm oil which reflect sufficient supplies and enhanced global production prospects for these products were the major influence for the decline in the FAO food price index.
Nigerians spend as much as N25.2bn on feeding themselves on a daily basis according to a recent report released by NOI Polls on Monday, June 9, 2014.
The report stated that about 80% of Nigerians which is about 140 million of the nation’s population of 175 million spend at least $1 which is about N160 on food daily. This amounts to N22.4bn while the remaining 35 million people spend an average of half a dollar which is approximately N80 amounting to N2.8bn per day making a total average daily food spend of N25.2bn by the country’s general population.
On Wednesday, April 24, a loan of $152.12milion from the African Development Bank (AfDB) was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the agricultural sector.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina who gave this information said that the loan would be used to develop 14 staple crops processing zones in 7 states and 27 local governments and that the zones are being developed in conjunction with the United Nations’ Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Mr. Saleh Gashua, the secretary-general, African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), has said rural agriculture financing is vital to the economic development of the country and Africa in general. He said this in Lagos at the opening of the association’s conference, which had the theme, ‘Propelling economic development through functional agricultural value chain financing model.’
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed plans to increase financing initiatives in the sectors through partnerships with appropriate stakeholders to further empower entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid as well as increase banks’ focus on agriculture.
As a result, the CBN said it was planning to increase agricultural financing to 7% by 2018. The CBN Governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, said the move would allow farmers to gain access to credit, fertilisers and also drive the agricultural sector of the economy.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Exports Promotion Council on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Federal Government with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which was represented by Mr. Michael Harvey, the Nigeria Director of USAID to boost the exportation of agricultural products by 30% within the next three years
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development has said that the Federal Government and Deposit Money Banks (DMB) have resolved to extend the loan repayment period for farmers from six months to one year.
The ministry, in a statement, said the expansion is to ensure further increase in food production in the coming year and reduce inflation.
According to the statement, the decision was reached at a breakfast meeting organised by the ministry, in Abuja, which had the Central Bank of Nigeria and heads of various DMBs in attendance.
The important role that the fast food industry is playing in the Nigerian economy is significant and cannot be trivialised. Presently, the industry contributes about ₦200 billion, annually, to the economy and employs over 500,000 workers at the processing and retailing levels, in addition to paying over ₦1 billion to the various tiers of government in taxes and levies.