By Sylvester Thompson
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says Nigeria is presently a major leader in yam and ginger exportation and has the best quality ginger in the world.
Ogbeh made this assertion in Abuja on Thursday at the Africa International Investment Summit and Expo (Africinvest) 2018, which also featured the Commodities International Summit and Exhibition.
According to him, government is promoting the export of ginger and Nigeria is the third largest exporter of ginger after China and India, with Nigerian ginger considered as the best in the world.
“Government is committed to enhancing increase in the volume of our ginger exports and to ensure that our various exportable food and cash crops are developed to meet global export standards.’’
Ogbeh was represented by Alhaji Azeez Olumuyiwa, the Director, Agric Business Processing and Marketing.
The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari launched a time bound aggressive plan to unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential through the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016 to 2020.
According to him, this is called the Green Alternative which is meant to provide a disciplined approach to building a resilient agribusiness ecosystem.
“This will solve the core issues at the heart of limited food production and delivery of quality standards,’’ Ogbeh said.
He maintained that the success of the new policy hinged on engagement of market place participants, farmers, states, investors, financial institutions and communities as well as research laboratories.
The minister also disclosed that in first quarter of 2017, agricultural export increased by 82 per cent over quarter fourth of 2016 levels.
He said that export earnings from agriculture goods stood at N30 billion made up of Sesame seeds export of N3.7 billion to Turkey, N1.6billion to China and N1.6 billion to India.
He also listed others to include soya beans export of N3.4 billion to Russia and N1.2 billion to Greece.
He said that there was frozen shrimp export of N2.2 billion to the Netherlands, cashew nuts export of N1.8 billion to Vietnam and crude palm kernel oil export of N1.2 billion to the Netherlands.
On the Africinvest 2018, the minister said that the gathering was in the quest by the present administration to boost agricultural production, self-sufficiency, food security and investment in the sector.
Mr Anglo Elosia, the Chairman and Chief Coordinator of the Expo said: “We look at various ways by which under this platform, we can identify first of all our natural resources and all human resources.’’
“We then harness them together from nation to nation,’’ he said.
Elosia said that good leadership would ensure that the natural country’s resources were protected against predators who under value resources and profit from them in the black market.