The NESG through its National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable provided technical support for the Senate Roundtable on Agriculture with the theme: The Need for Continuous Implementation of Policy Reforms for the Diversification of the Nigerian Economy. The NASSBER is a platform for the legislature and the private sector to engage, deliberate and take action on a framework that will improve the Nigerian business environment. It is a partnership between the National Assembly, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Nigerian Bar Association – Section on Business Law.
It has become imperative for the Federal Government to ensure strict adherence to policies and goals set for the various intervention policies. The government should also develop strategies that will move farmers from subsistence farming to mechanized farming by mandating relevant Agencies to push for Zero tariffs for import on agricultural and agro-processing equipment, tax holidays for investors in addition to increase tariffs on any commodities that Nigeria can produce such as starch, sugar and wheat. It is also important for the Federal Government to collaborate with States and Local Governments as well as the private sector to invest heavily in infrastructure development that will promote private investment in all areas of the agriculture sector to facilitate linkage of agriculture to industry. On its part, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture must strengthen agricultural research activities through increased and stable funding, proper coordination and strengthening of linkages among research centres.
It is against this background that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted a Motion on the Need for the Continuous Implementation of Policy Reforms for the Diversification of the Nigerian Economy through the Agricultural And Solid Minerals Sectors with a mandate to convene this Roundtable to bring together relevant stakeholders to review the various intervention policies and programmes in the agricultural sector with a view to addressing the challenges militating against effective impact of the various Federal Government policies on the economy.
The objectives of the Roundtable were to:
The Roundtable covered relevant thematic areas in the agricultural sector which include:
▪ Governance and Policy
▪ Access to High-Quality Inputs and Distribution
▪ Post-Harvest Management
▪ Market Linkages, Value Addition and Processing
▪ Sustainable Land Management
▪ Access to Finance
▪ Value Chain Prioritization
▪ Research and Development
▪ Climate Change.