W/Bank supports Nigeria’s agric sector with $200m

Th e World Bank is set to inject $200 million into Nigeria’s agricultural sector. World Bank’s Fadama Team Leader, Adetunji Oredipe who disclosed this yesterday said the fund is meant to revitalise the nation’s livestock subsector.

Fadama is a Hausa word that generally means irrigable land. Mr. Oredipe said that the Bank was working in tandem with the Nigerian government to formulate the intervention policy, adding that discussions with the government team on the modalities for the project execution had also started. He however said the intervention will give special attention to productivity. “Productivity depends on a number of factors as it concerns the feeds which are very critical; the major problem of livestock production in the country is dearth of high-quality animal feeds, as the feeds determine what you get from your livestock,” he noted. “World Bank is also looking at critical health aspects of the livestock industry, the veterinary aspects, as we are merging it with the surveillance.”

Commenting further, Mr. Oredipe said that the World Bank had approved $25 million to revamp the animal health sector. He explained that the funds would be released via a World Bank regional project, adding that more than $90 million had been earmarked for Nigeria.

“Th e initial $25 million has been approved by the bank, and the project will take off as soon as the Federal government sorts out the issue with the National Assembly,’’ he said. Mr. Oredipe, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, also disclosed that the bank was making available a $2.1-million grant to examine and develop the business environment in the livestock sub-sector, adding that the reform programme would be executed under the Livestock Micro Reforms Project.

According to the FADAMA team lead, the World Bank and government offi cials were now looking at the policy and business environment, with a view to perfecting them for the intervention.

He said that the World Bank’s focus on the livestock sub-sector was based on the request of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He said, “Th e administration made it clear that they want the bank to critically look into the livestock sector because not much is going on in that sector.”

Th e livestock sub-sector accounted for a sizeable part of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Mr. Oredipe said; adding that it provides income, employment, food, farm energy, manure, fuel and transport.

Th e FADAMA boss also noted that the livestock sub-sector was a major source of government revenue in the past, and the government was putting eff orts in place to put it in good shape.