The Federal Government has approved a five-year tax and customs exemption for agricultural production and processing in Nigeria, as well as tax-exempt agricultural loans with a moratorium period of more than 18 months and a repayment period not exceeding seven years and zero-tariff rates on the import of agrochemicals.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, who made this known during the 29th Annual LAPO Development Forum on the theme “Financing Agriculture and Rural Development Initiatives in Nigeria: Challenges and way forward,” said the endorsement was to enhance high-level private sector participation in the domestic food production and processing industry.
The Minister, while calling on Nigerians to invest in agriculture, said the sector was experiencing a revitalization with dedicated policies from the Federal Government aimed at enabling the private sector to get involved and contribute more to the growth of the domestic product. gross of the country.
Abubakar reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to creating investment opportunities for the private sector to participate in the industrialization of the agricultural sector; claiming that its annual budget allocation to agriculture had been increased.
He said the government was making efforts across the country to ensure sustainable food security and agribusiness at its core.
Earlier, LAPO Director General Dr. Godwin Ehhigiamusoe in his welcoming remarks said that agriculture-led growth and food security in the country were being hampered by inadequate funding and misuse of technology. , among other things, driving up food prices. , increasing poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Ehhigiamusoe said LAPO has over the years supported the agricultural sector of the economy by providing flexible financial services to rural farmers and agribusinesses through the LAPO Microfinance Bank and the Rural Development Initiative. LAPO.
LAPO Chairman of the Board, Dr. Osaren Emokpae, said that in addition to increased funding, it was imperative to fund agricultural research in the country by stepping up efforts to reduce the cost of tools and basic farming tools to increase accessibility for farmers.