President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has inaugurated the Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council, ATIC, with the mandate to drive ATA-Nigeria along the value chains for purpose of achieving food security, employment generation, and other components of the agricultural policy.
The occasion which was chaired by President Jonathan, with the Vice President, Namadi Sambo as the alternate Chairman, while the Minister for Agric and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, will be the co-ordinator of the Council.
The agricultural transformation agenda is targeted at increasing efficiency and profitability along the value-added chains of 12 selected key agricultural commodities, namely: cotton, cocoa, cassava, oil-palm, maize, soya bean, onion, rice, livestock, fisheries, tomato and sorghum.
ATA-Nigeria would provide about 3.5 million new jobs to be created from rice, cassava, sorghum, cocoa and cotton value chains. Still many more jobs would be created from other future value chains activities, with over N300 billion of additional income in the hands of Nigerian farmers and rural entrepreneurs.
Over N60 billion (US$380 million) will be injected into the economy from the substitution of 20% of bread wheat flour with cassava flour, which was successfully launched recently by President Jonathan.
The Council will provide oversight functions for the entire Agricultural Transformation Agenda. According to its terms of reference, ATIC will identify key ministries, departments and agencies to work together to create a conducive environment to grow private sector and public sector investments in agriculture and rural development along strategic value chains.
The Council would also identify and create global leading minds on agricultural transformation of strategic value chains for carefully selected agricultural products, and also ensure increased agricultural financing while promoting and implementing partnership agreements between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the FMARD to unlock US$3.0 billion in Agricultural Financing.
Other members of ATIC are: ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dangote, Governors of Anambra, , Kebbi Benue, Akwa -Ibom and Ondo State; Minister of State for Agric, Coordinating Minister for Economy, Minister National Planning, Minister of Trade and Investment, Minister of Water Resources, Minister of Power Governor of Central Bank, Chief Economic Adviser to Mr President, Chairman Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Chairman Association of Seed Producing Companies, Chairman of Fertiliser companies MAN , Chairman Bankers Sub Committee on Development , IITA, Africa Rice ADB, Tony Elumelu Foundation.
Also included are President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, and President of World Bank, and renowned international economist, Jeffry Sach.