January 17, 2022 / 2:26 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Business Day
The recently inaugurated National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) for the period 2022-2025, will be best implemented if the issues around bureaucratic bottlenecks are addressed. Mr. Chuka Mordi, the CEO of Ellah Lakes Plc said this while providing his assessment of the new policy designed to fast-track Nigeria's agricultural revolution.
He said that the NATIP was a well-thought plan for the Agricultural sector, with inputs from private sector players like Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli, MFR, CEO of Sahel Consulting and provides the opportunity for unlocking value in the Agri-business value chain.
The business leader was hopeful that the government will provide the enabling environment and legislations, to make the new Agricultural policy work for all stakeholders.
Speaking on the Ellah Lakes Plc partnership with Enugu State government in rice processing, he described it as a welcome development for the sector. He said about 5,000sqm of land is expected to be cultivated in the Adani area. Other crops that the company is considering include; soyabeans, cassava and maize.
According to Mordi the plan is to transform Adani, Uzo-Uwani LGA, Enugu state into one of the leading 'Staple Crop Processing Zones" in Nigeria.
He said "Essentially it is to engage in cultivation that would create jobs and economic opportunities for the host communities. We plan to develop a Feed Mill and Ethanol processing plant on the site in Adani which will have significant impact on Enugu state".
"Our plan is to diversify products, improve risk mitigation and take advantage of an import substitution strategy for Nigeria" he added.
Supplying his views on the issue of subsidies for the agriculture sector, he said its application can be very useful in encouraging the growth of local production in the country.
He was of the opinion that subsidies and temporary tariff walls could help to boost growth in the local agricultural sector, if properly targeted and vigorously applied.
"In areas where there is immense potential for growth with crops like rice, cassava and oil palm, if the policy of subsidies are applied properly it will boost productivity in cultivation and processing".
On the issue of financing for the industry, Mordi acknowledged the interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and called for an improvement in the linkage between the public and private sector.