By NKIRUKA NNOROM
For Agriculture to play a key role in diversifying the economy, it is needful to have stable policies backed with parliamentary acts, says Mr. Emma Ajayi, Managing Director/CEO, CG BIOSTADTT.
He spoke at the Nigerian-Danish Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (NDCCIA)’s breakfast meeting, in Lagos.
He explained that having a legal framework in place will save the sector from policy somersaults and overlaps, adding that without institutionalizing the policies on agriculture, it would be difficult to get investors to commit their money in the sector.
“This sector further requires what I call, “Agricultural System Strategy,” where all the policies would be derived. This will also be a guiding principle to all investors in the agricultural sector. As an ally, institutional frameworks are required around the agricultural system. This will guarantee sustainability and further give comfort to current and future investors in the sector,” he said.
“This fueled the disincentives in this sector as successive governments often came up with their own ideas and policies and many are poor in contents and worse in implementation. Of course, many are doomed to fail from the on-set,” he further stated.
Ajayi noted that besides putting strong policy in place, there was need for a review of the present Land Use Act, saying that it was negating growth and development in the sector.
“The issue of land is yet to be properly addressed. The Land Use Act in its present form is antithetical to agriculture. It is negatively impacting on the sector in terms of availability of land on commercial and long term basis for agriculture. Agriculture cannot thrive on land tenure system and short gestation periods. There should be affirmative action to deal with the Land Use Act in its present form,” he enthused.
He added, “A strong political will backed by execution capacity will drive the sector. There should be strong determination on the part of government to develop initiatives that will unlock the potential in agricultural sector.”
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NDCCIA seeks legal framework on agricultural development