Amo Farm’s GMD Urges Emphasis on Agriculture as Pathway to Industrialisation

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The Group Managing Director of Amo Group, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, has called on the Federal Government to place the agricultural sector as the top priority in its quest to reverse the downturn in the economy, considering its huge contribution to employment, food security, and the nation’s development.

Dr. Oduntan insisted that the Federal Government’s spend on agriculture is inadequate to stimulate the desired turnaround, compared to the 10 percent agreed in the Maputo Declaration by the African Union in 2003 and endorsed by member countries.

He made this submission at the joint conference of the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) held on Monday, 5th February 2024, in Lagos, with the theme “Empowering Futures: A Collaborative Journey in Financing Nigeria’s Industrial Sector,” and well-attended by Chief Executive Officers of Banks, Insurance Companies and Captains of industries.

As an example, he said the country produces about a million tons of soya beans annually, which is mostly exported. This is a welcome development as it brings in the desired forex. However, for the poultry industry to survive in 2024, it must import soya bean meal from outside Nigeria as the price continues to rise and scarcity ensues. A solution will be to control exports to protect both export income and the poultry industry which employs millions of Nigerians.

The erudite entrepreneur and former President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria pointed out that post-harvest loss in the country which is estimated as N3.5 trillion is a remarkable opportunity for Industrial development. He gave the example of mango purée which is a $1.5 Billion industry worldwide. It will eliminate mango wastage.

While discussing the funding challenge for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and their full integration into the nation’s economic system, Dr. Oduntan hinted that Financial Institutions should actively support in building capacity to access funding as a disproportionate percentage of available funds is given to foreign-owned companies due to the knowledge gap of local SME’s.

Amo Farm which has made immense contributions to agricultural development in the country, is known for its agro-innovation with the Noiler Bird, launched in 2014 after a 12-year selective breeding process.

Noiler is a dual-purpose bird that is similar in appearance and taste to the native chicken but is more resistant to field diseases and produces four times more eggs and three times more poultry meat.

The company has impacted over 1.3 million rural households with the Noiler Bird, with emphasis on women, and this has laid a solid foundation that could be multiplied to spread across the country and the African continent.

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