Speaking at the 29th edition of the LAPO Annual Development Forum, the Minister of Agriculture disclosed on Thursday that the Government had approved new incentives for agricultural investors to improve high-level private sector participation in the country’s food production and processing industry. According to the Minister, the incentives include tax and duty-free holidays for five years for agricultural production and processing in Nigeria; tax-free agrarian loans with a moratorium period of over 18 months and a repayment period of not more than seven years; and zero-tariff rates on the importation of agrochemicals.
Analysts note that the agriculture sector accounted for about 35% of the country’s employed workforce and has only grown at an average rate of about 2-3% since 2016. This is despite the significant CBN interventions by the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). Although the current policy seeks to address one of the major challenges facing the sector, namely: funding, other problems attending the sector which also need to be addressed include the lack of mechanization, fractional land ownership system, and the lack of modern storage and processing facilities.