Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed optimism in Nigeria's success if the country becomes an agribusiness nation.
Obasanjo made the statement in an interview with reporters on the sideline of the 2nd Group Meeting of Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review Committee 2030.
NAN recalls that the ex-president had earlier in the year, unveiled the initiative tagged ‘Zero Hunger’, which articulates what the Nigeria must do to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
Obasanjo said that the committee had further split into nine sub-committees to ensure that Nigeria becomes a successful agribusiness nation.
According to him, the sub-committees will look at different aspects of what has to be done in research and innovation, production, processing and , marketing, among others.
“Each sub-committee was asked to submit a report which they all did; what we have been doing since morning is to open each report for discussion.
“We shall finetune the reports and in the final meeting, we shall have the final outcome of our report.
“The hope is that this country, Nigeria, will be an agribusiness success.”
Obasanjo said the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health as well as Governors of Sokoto and Ebonyi states among others, headed various sub-committees.
Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the Federal Government was committed to achieving self-sufficiency in staple food production within the shortest time possible.
He said that work was ongoing to modernise agricultural practices in the country, to increase yields through adoption of high yielding seed varieties and to ensure standardisation and quality assurance.
Ogbeh said it would enable Nigeria to earn more foreign exchange through zero rejection of agro-commodity in the international market.
“Some of the steps we have taken towards the realisation of these objectives include putting in place programmes and projects for sustained interventions along the agricultural value chain, to improve agricultural efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
“We have established a Standing Inter-Ministerial Committee on Zero Reject for Agricultural Commodities and Produce/Non-Oil Exports in Nigeria.
“Other are strategies to improve cottage industries to reduce post harvest loses and improve cold room chain development.
“Commodity value chain development and creation of agro industrial hubs to facilitate the export of our agro commodity in partnership with state governments, private sector and renowned international financial institutions,” Ogbeh said.
Meanwhile, the Director-General, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, said that the meeting was determined to ensure the formulation of the right policies to support agriculture in the next 20 years.
He said the committee would be serve as an advisory committee for the implementation of policies to help the country export agro commodities.
Sanginga noted that one of the objectives of SDGs was to have a hunger-free world, adding that the “Zero Hunger Initiative” intended to achieve that dream in Nigeria within 10 years.