Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, Brazil’s Ambassador to Nigeria, revealed that the Federal Government of Brazil will invest $1.1 billion in Nigeria by the end of October 2018. The fund will be released to boost Nigeria’s agriculture sector.
The ambassador, who made the disclosure while speaking at a dinner in Abuja to sensitise Nigerians ahead of an Agrictech event being organised by the Osun State Government, said the $1.1 billion will mainly be used to purchase tractors, which the Brazilian Government believes will help mechanise Nigeria’s agriculture.
Araujo noted that if productivity in the country’s agriculture sector is increased, it will help encourage food security and financial opportunities for Nigerian farmers. He said the funds will be disbursed by the Brazilian Exim-Bank, while the Central Bank of Nigeria will coordinate the concessional resources needed. The deal will last for thirteen years and will have a ten-year repayment plan.
Brazil’s ambassador said the partnership, which is expected to improve Nigeria’s agriculture industry by ensuring efficient productivity, enhanced market accessibility, and the mitigation of climate-change related hazards, was an initiative of Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The program will promote employment, especially for the unemployed youth. It will also be designed to reduce hard labor and stress typically experienced by farmers in Nigeria. Araujo said “It will also keep the youth busy because they will be employed, and create development in the area where the plant is established”.
As a result of the excessive focus on oil by Nigeria’s government, the country has a large expanse of arable lands that has not been fully explored. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Agriculture sector contributed only 22.86% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2018.