The African Development Bank, AfDB, has described Africa’s agribusiness sector as the next “oil sector” saying it (agribusiness) has been predicted to reach one trillion dollars by 2030.
The bank in a statement issued by its Communication and External Relations Department also said the continent had the potential to become a net exporter of agricultural commodities, replacing imports worth more than 110 billion dollars.
According to the statement, Nigeria was in a position to provide leadership in Africa’s agribusiness sector given its huge agricultural resources and the drive to revolutionise its subsistence agriculture economy into a major global player.
The statement disclosed that the bank had concluded plans to host an investment forum on its Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, SAPZ, initiative in Abuja on April 30 explaining that SAPZs was designed to concentrate on agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential so as to increase productivity and competitiveness.
According to the bank, the forum would bring stakeholders abreast of the progress made in the establishment of SAPZs and to secure the commitment of key agribusiness companies and banks.
It said: “The bank, together with its development partners is investing heavily in these projects in order to rapidly scale up agricultural production. The initiative will be the result of strong public and private sector partnerships.”
It added: “The innovative Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative will provide millions of young rural men and women with unprecedented employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.”