FG says Agribusiness, Agritourism will Strengthen Food Security

Adding that agritourism provides educational opportunities to the public, helps to preserve agricultural lands, and allows states to develop business enterprises.
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Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, says investment in agribusiness and Agritourism, will strengthen food security in the country.

Umakhihe revealed this at the international Agribusiness and Agritourism investment forum on Friday in Abuja.

The permanent secretary was represented by Mr Adebiyi Michael, Director, Agribusiness and Market Development in the ministry.

He said that agritourism enhances the tourism industry by increasing the number of visitors to the area.

“Agritourism also provides communities with the potential to increase their local tax bases and new employment opportunities.

“Additionally, agritourism provides educational opportunities to the public, helps to preserve agricultural lands, and allows states to develop business enterprises,” he reiterated.

He said that the Federal Government had designed agricultural investment incentives to support high level private sector participation.

“While some of these incentives are in the form of tax holidays, exemptions and reliefs, there are some that leverage specific policies,” he said.

Umakhihe restated the ministry`s commitment in working with relevant stakeholders to build an agricultural and agribusiness economy capable of sustaining the country's economy.

“I have no doubt that this forum will spur agricultural production which will ultimately contribute to growth and transformation in the nation's economy,“ he said.

Also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, urged security agencies to come up with strategies to make the initiative a success.

He was represented by Mr Okokon Etoabasi, a deputy director in his office.

In his views, Mr Masudur Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria described the initiative by the government of Nigeria as noble.

“This synergy will help if Nigeria and Bangladesh collaborate and both countries will benefit immensely,“ he said.

On the 50 hectares of land given to Bangladesh, he said that his country will ensure that both countries benefit in terms of job creation, rural development and human resource development.

Mr Guy Adoua, Deputy Country Director, World Food Programme, Nigeria (WFP), said that other countries should learn from the Nigeria experience.

“I work for WFP and I think we have something to learn and to share from this experience,” he said.

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