This is the view of Dr Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation after a session on financing agriculture with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Minister of Finance, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala described the visit as “clear evidence that Nigeria is on the right path in agriculture and that the country’s efforts to improve productivity, diversity and food security are being recognised by the world.”
Dr Rodin was accompanied by Mr Steve Masiyawa, Interim Chair of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Earlier in the day, Dr Rodin and Mr Masiyawa who were scheduled to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan had attended the weekly meeting of the Economic Management Implementation Team (EMIT) and shared ideas on how agriculture in Nigeria can be taken many notches higher.
“We are here because we believe that Nigeria can take the lead in agriculture in job creation, production, processing, and diversification of the economy and overall contribution of the economy. The opportunities here are extraordinary. It is possible if the right things are done and we can see evidence they are being done.”
She said the experience of the Rockefeller Foundation in helping to create the Green Revolution in Africa has convinced them that Nigeria has what it takes to take the lead in Africa.
Also speaking, Mr Masiyawa said that Nigeria has the capacity to to address the challenges in agriculture which it faces, emphasising the work being done to improve the country’s agriculture can dramatically improve the economy. He urged young people to see agriculture as a viable career option because “there is money in agriculture.”
The minister of agriculture, in his own remarks, said that the country needs “catalytic finance to improve the value chain in agriculture” adding that “the world believes in what Nigeria is doing”