Agriculture Can Generate $50bn Forex with Proper Investment —FACAN BoT Chair

The Chairman Board of Trustees of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN), Dr Victor Iyama, has said that Nigeria’s agricultural sector has the potentials to generate over $50 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if there is proper investment in the sector.

Dr Iyama stated this at the Agro-Commodity Roundtable Dialogue, Dinner and Recognition night organised by FACAN in Abuja.

The programme with the theme ‘Building Stronger Economy through Agro-Commodity Value Chain Development and International Cooperation’ had in attendance several commodity associations and private sector investors, both local and foreign.

The FACAN BoT chairman said the aim of this association was to grow the agricultural sector, increase the sector’s contribution to the GDP and most importantly to be able to bring in the needed foreign exchange to the country.

“Agriculture alone can bring in about $50 billion if not more. So, every one of us should be ready to work towards that goal. I have always said it, the most important sector in this country today is agriculture.

“There are four areas that can make us double our foreign exchange earning to over $100 billion and they are agriculture, solid minerals, IT and entertainment industry”, he said.

He said if Nigeria decides to develop these sectors and concentrate on them, the country will witness improved foreign exchange earnings.

Iyama charged Nigerians to return to agriculture in order to create wealth, and grow a sustainable food production strategy in order to feed this generation and the next.

“We should all go back to our agriculture; one thing that can never finish or dry up is the soil, that is where we get all the food and solid minerals.

“The first thing is for all of us gathered her to look inwards, the wealth is in this country, it is not outside and we must all put our hands together to make sure that we harness the wealth of this country for the benefits of the generations unborn”, he added.

In his address, the President of FACAN, Alhaji Sheriff Balogun, informed the gathering that FACAN started with just 10 commodity associations, but currently boasted of over 42 commodity associations.

He said with the support of members and partners in the agricultural sector, a pathway would be forged to improve the country’s agriculture.

“FACAN from humble beginning of about 10 commodity associations is now boasting of over 42 registered associations. With your support and partnership, we will forge a path that not only improve agriculture in Nigeria but contribute to our national growth and prosperity”, he said.

Balogun said FACAN will collaborate with government to ensure that the government realises the objectives of its agricultural policies.

“It is a new dawn for us in FACAN, we have been the business of promoting agriculture for the past 10 years, and we will continue to do that especially that the government has declared state of emergency on food, FACAN will collaborate with the government to ensure that the government realises the objective of its policy.

“For us, we will continue to encourage good policies, we will continue to find ways to develop farmers, build their capacities in terms of efficiency, effectiveness of production, getting the best yield, doubling production of what we are doing now to ensure that we increase our yield”, he added.