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June 19, 2011

Why Nigeria’s agriculture is underdeveloped

The World Bank has said under investment and the non-participation of private investors in Nigeri's agriculture are the major problems militating against the growth of the sector.

The Programme Coordinator, World Bank, Agriculture and Rural Development, African Region, Martien Van-Neiuwkoop, said productivity low due largely to under investment in modern research, slow adoption of existing improved technologies, lack of infrastructure and the absence of private investors in the sector.

Van-Neiuwkoop said a recent study by the bank on the Guinea Savannah agro-ecological zone in Africa showed that it was comparable to that of Thailand and Brazil.

He challenged the Federal Government to focus on promoting commercial agriculture with emphasis on addressing infrastructural challenges and other issues such as research, post harvest losses, processing and marketing.

"Diversification into commercial agriculture is the main thing now globally as it is important for sustainable growth, diffuses benefits to the rural populace and is a hedge against the shocks from global price volatility,’’ he said.

The Nation

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