Agriculture: Investing in the Nigerian Agricultural Sector
Africa holds about 60 percent of global uncultivated land. Investing in profitable, high growth and sustainable agri-business in Nigeria is seen as a way to drive youth employment. Kola Masha, in an interview spoke with Eleni Goikos, ABN highlighting the immense potential of the Nigerian Agricultural Sector.
According to him, the potential for growth is quite remarkable and agriculture, in itself is a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product. Research shows that Nigeria has over 80 million hectares of arable land. This accounts for about 23% of arable land across all of West Africa. Thus, in terms of production, the potential for West Africa to leap forward is immense as the region possesses not only land, but the lowest levels of irrigation in the world.
Having some of the fastest growing yields in the world was another point highlighted. Nigeria’s soya bean yield grows five times more rapidly than the world average. This also makes for a significant boost in production.
The key to unlocking the growth potential of agriculture in Africa, according to Mr. Masha, is to improve the lot of small scale farmers. Empowering the millions of small holder farmers who
have access to millions of hectares will ensure they have access to appropriate inputs, sufficient financing amongst other key factors that will significantly boost productivity. The key model developed to this effect is the Agricultural Franchise Model. This makes the small holder farmer a franchisee of a larger farm, with access to all the necessary inputs. This model stands to minimize the risks associated with investing in the sector and thereby stimulates the financial sector to invest in the Nigerian Agricultural Sector.