The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has called for the allocation of 10 per cent of the nation’s annual budget to agriculture.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Adesina made the suggestion while contributing to a discussion in Abuja on Thursday at the 19th Nigeria Economic Summit on ways to sustain the nation’s agenda on agriculture.

He said that financing the growth and development of the agriculture sector should be significantly expanded for realistic growth.

“At the moment, we are not spending enough on agriculture. As we go forward, we have to restructure the modes of financing of the sector.

“We need to make at least 10 per cent of our budget to go to agriculture, if we want to sustain this particular agenda.

“The issue of getting financing from the private sector is key. Nobody is going to do agriculture and borrow money at 25 per cent interest rate and also make profit.

“So we need to find new institutions, new arrangements and new platforms that will allow us to get affordable financing as well as long-term financing.

“So we really cannot get far until we tackle this particular issue.”

Adesina also said that adequate funding of research and development institutes that were geared toward innovative agriculture discoveries was important.

“I think it is very crucial for us to invest heavily in research and development because no nation in the world has been able to achieve this without spending money on innovative technologies.

“Talk about China, Brazil, Pakistan and India, all of them invested in innovative technologies.

“Right now we are spending less than one per cent on research and development and it is not enough. To be the global power we want to be, we must spend more on research.”

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