How Adesina revolutionised Nigeria’s agricultural sector as Minister – Agribusiness expert

President of Africa Development Bank (AFDB) President, Akinwumi-Adesina

An Agribusiness expert has commended the African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for revolutionising Nigeria’s agricultural sector during his tenure as Minister of Agriculture.

The expert, Mezuo Nwuneli, in a report, said Adesina transformed the sector by implementing positive and far reaching policies. 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nwuneli is the Managing Partner,  and Co-Founder, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers.

Sahel Capital is an agribusiness focused private investment firm that manages 90 million dollars in commitments across two funds which invest across sub-Saharan Africa.

Nwuneli said as Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture, Adesina made the opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector exciting to Nigerians including the youth, through the way he communicated the opportunities to them.

He said: “When Adesina was minister, he was able to communicate the opportunities in the sector in a way that was exciting for people.

”Around that time, there was a lot of excitement and interest in the youths and the many people coming into the sector at the same time.

”A bold reformer, as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015, Adesina turned the agriculture sector of Nigeria around within four years.

” Under his tenure, Nigeria ended 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector by developing and implementing an innovative electronic wallet system, which directly provides farmers with subsidised farm inputs at scale using their mobile phones.”

According to the expert, the electronic wallet system, within the first four years of its inaugurstion, reached 15 million farmers, dramatically transforming their lives.

He recalled that on Oct. 19, 2017, the AfDB president was conferred with the World Food Prize, also known as the “Nobel Prize for Agriculture”.

”Only two weeks ago, Dr Adesina was appointed one of the global leaders to spearhead the fight against malnutrition food and nutrition security by the United Nations Secretary-General , António Guterres, under the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.

”Members of the SUN Movement Lead Group include representatives from the membership of the SUN Movement, which includes 65 countries, four Indian states, more than 4,000 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) .

”More than 1,400 businesses including small and medium enterprises, 16 United Nations agencies, international finance institutions and donor governments and philanthropies funding nutrition.

“I believe that the approach of the SUN Movement to tackle malnutrition through a country-owned multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach is more crucial than ever before,” he said.

 Nwuneli quoted Guterres as saying” “these global leaders are championing country-led efforts to scale up nutrition and to deliver for girls, boys and their families a world free from malnutrition by 2030” .

The expert further said that with Adesina at the helm, the AfDB Group had achieved the highest capital increase since its establishment in 1964.

“On Oct. 31, 2019, shareholders from 80 member countries raised the general capital from 93 billion dollars to a historic 208 billion dollars.” (NAN)

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