An industrial expert has urged the Federal Government to invest more in agriculture, saying it is worth $8 trllion globally, bigger than oil and gas. Specifically, the Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation to the President of the African Development Bank, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelaran- Oyeyinka, made the appeal during a webinar organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering themed: “From Consumption to Production Nation: The Role of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria,” recently. Oyebanji described agribusiness as a profitable sector that can help Nigeria bounce back as well as grow its economy.
He said: “Agribusiness by itself is a very profitable business, $8 trillion worth globally. It is bigger than oil and gas, it is bigger than IT, but it happens only when you add value, when you process, when you move goods from the farm to hotels, to airports, to shops, to supermarkets by actually processing those things and branding them.”
Oyebanji highlighted some problems bedeviling the agricultural sector, pointing out that Nigeria only produces and exports low-value raw materials. “We swapped our readymade garment production status to a consumption status, we rush to somewhere else to import what they produce, and we sit here and use oil money to simply buy what others have produced,” he added.”