Home » Africa: Agribusiness Institute Laments Nigeria’s $22bn Annual Food Import Bill

Africa: Agribusiness Institute Laments Nigeria’s $22bn Annual Food Import Bill

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Institute of Agribusiness Management Nigeria (IAMN) has expressed displeasure over the whopping sum of $22billion the country is spending on the importation of foods annually.

The Institute said that the food imported can be produced locally by agripreneurs to avoid capital flight.

Professor Andie Brisibe, President of the Institute while speaking in Lagos at the induction ceremony and inauguration of the Lagos state chapter of the Institute, said that all hands must be on deck to ensure the trend is reversed.

Professor Brisibe, who was represented by Debo Onafowora, a fellow of the Institute and the Managing Director of BIC Farms Concepts stated that Nigeria is enriching other countries by spending such a huge amount on food importation.

“How can we spend over $22billion to import food into Nigeria? Imagine if Nigerian agripreneurs are the ones producing this food, the money will spread and everyone will be better for it. By importing food commodities, we are enriching other countries and improving the livelihoods of their farmers at the expense of our own.

“So, IAMN is championing this course in the area of improving technical know-how of our members in areas of capacity development in areas of commercial crop and livestock production, agro-processing and agribusiness trade,” he said.

However, he called for collaboration among the stakeholders in the various agribusiness value chains in developing the sector, saying agribusiness is capable of fully diversifying the nation’s economy and providing jobs for the unemployed Nigerians.

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Speaking further, Onafowora said that one of the challenges facing the agricultural industry is that everybody just come into the industry claiming to be an agricultural consultant without proper standardization and certification.

“Lots of Nigerians are losing investment funds to these quack agricultural consultants. The institute is there to standardise the activities of agribusiness professionals in Nigeria. Nobody should just come and say I am an agricultural consultant.

“The question will be who certified you? Who knows what you can do? Who can recommend for you? Where are your Certification seal and practice license? Quality control measures such as these are what IAMN has been putting in place to sanitise agribusiness practice and improving service delivery.

Adding, there are all sorts of policies from the government, but they are not followed through. We would do this today, tomorrow another time. Government comes, the government goes, we don’t have consistency. The institute is there to make sure that these policies stand.”

He also noted that the institute will also protect the interest of everyone practicing agricultural business in the country.

By Oluseyi Taiwo-Oguntuase
Source: independent.ng

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