African Farming Needs Business Approach, Nigeria’s Adesina Says

Following are comments by Nigerian Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Ayo Adesina made at the “Feeding the World” meeting organized by Economist Conferences in Geneva yesterday.

“The potential is there, but you can’t eat it. Agriculture is not a social sector. Agriculture is a business, and we must begin to take agriculture in Africa as a business.

“We are thinking of agriculture in Nigeria today as a replacement of oil. Think of agriculture as an investment. We see this as government enabled. The private sector is going to have to lead it. We want Nigeria to be an agricultural and industrialized economy.”

“We have a lot of money sitting on the balance sheets of banks in Africa, we have to get smart about leveraging that. We need to get smart about new instruments to finance agriculture.”

“There’s a huge infrastructure gap in Africa. Investment in all those things would lower the cost of transport, and also the transactional costs for traders involved.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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