By Olayinka Olawale
Lagos, Sept. 30, 2020 Mr Africafarmer Mogaji, Chairman, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has lauded the Federal Government for investing in the agricultural sector in the country.
Mogaji spoke to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos while reviewing President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the country’s 60-years anniversary.
He commended the federal government for facilitating more private sector involvement in the agricultural sector.
He said the government had put in more incentives and initiated programmes that are taking effect down in the sector.
He added the Buhari-led administration has done well by involving the private sector operators and increasing their commitment into the agriculture space.
According to him, considering awareness and sincerity in developing the sector, the administration should be commended.
“For the investment and commitment in creating awareness, I will give it to the government.
“They have introduced more incentives and initiatives that are trickling down.
“I will say they (federal government) are doing really well for co-opting the private sector for more commitment to developing agriculture sector,’’ he said.
Mogaji, however, said that the country has not fully utilise all opportunities available in the area of export.
Appraising the exports opportunities available to grow the nation’s economy, Mogaji said the country has not done well.
“Considering the opportunities available, I don’t think we have done well, considering awareness and sincerity in developing the agriculture sector for export,’’ he said.
Speaking on agriculture mechanisation, he said that Nigeria has not done well because “subsistence farming is still prevalent among our people’’.
He added that this was because the government has not adapted the right mechanisation.
He added that Nigeria was still heavily focused on the old ways of doing things.
“We are not doing well right now because we have not adapted the right mechanisation.
“We are still heavily focused on old syllabus; we are still focusing on commercial agriculture as against commercial production.
“There is a difference between commercial agriculture and commercial production; what is being sold to the government and others is commercial agriculture.
“This translates to getting these equipment, own 1,000 hectares of land and farm tomato on it, as against commercial production where 100 farmers are on 1,000 hectares as against two persons.
“It is taken the government a while to wake up to that reality, especially through Nigeria Incentives based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
“Our focus now should be commercial production and not commercial agriculture because NIRSAL is promoting commercial agriculture.’’