The African Development Bank (AfDB) has advised Nigeria to formulate appropriate and sustainable strategies to promote agro-industrialisation to foster domestic and export competitiveness in the agro-business industry.
The statement by the bank’s Communication and External Relations Department, reported Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Senior Special Advisor on Industrialisation to AfDB President to have given the advice at an event on Tuesday.
It further disclosed that Oyelaran-Oyeyinka gave the advice at the Feed Nigeria Summit 2019 held in Abuja.
He explained that once such strategies were put in place, the outcome would generate jobs, reduce poverty, improved livelihoods and quality of lives through increased contribution of manufacturing to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said Nigeria like other African countries needed to focus on exporting processed agro-products in general.
The advisor said it was important to identify which were priority products for individual countries in terms of food security and export advantage.
“There are various possible explanations for the lagging capabilities in agro-industrialisation as well as the subsequent declining exports from Africa particularly in high-value agro-products.
“Firstly, the products may be qualitatively inferior and as such non-competitive for high-income international markets.
“Secondly, the productivity of African farmers is low, compared to other developing countries. This is because human and technological capabilities including advanced knowledge and mechanisation are disturbingly in short supply.
“We need to unravel the factors underlying the production and exports of agro-products from Africa that have been steadily declining over the last several years.
“This is an age when the most profitable markets are in semi-processed and processed products and the narrative of our region as the toiler for, and supplier of, raw materials for foreign factories must end if we must attain the core SDG goals.
“We must attain all goals especially 1-3 and eight: “end poverty,, end hunger, good health and Well-being, decent work and economic growth,” he said.