|Adesina, Agric Minister|
The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has applauded the proposed 2013 budget for agriculture, presented recently to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is coming as there will be a five-year tax holiday for sugarcane and sugar value chain investors, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
NaijaAgroNet recalls that President Jonathan had proposed the sum of N81.41 billion for agriculture in the 2013 budget.
Speaking on the budget to his ministry, Dr. Adesina said that the amount allocated showed that President Goodluck Jonathan was confident that the sector could once again be the driving force of the economy.
NAN reports that allocation increased by less than three per cent over the current appropriation which stood at N78.9 billion.
The Federal Government also announced a number of measures aimed at boosting the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
Jonathan, while presenting the budget to a joint session of the National Assembly, said that there would be a five-year tax holiday for sugarcane and sugar value chain investors.
The president added that the machinery and spare parts imported for local sugar manufacturing industries would attract zero per cent import duty starting from January 2013.
He also said that the import duty for rice would be increased to encourage local rice production.
Adesina, however, said that the issue of budget was all about how the allocation was utilised.
He explained that a total of 7.8-billion-dollar private sector funding had been injected into the sector.
“In addition to that we have been able to get so many local companies to process agriculture produce.”
Through the Federal Government’s initiatives on cassava, rice, maize and soya beans, he said that about 8.1 million metric tonnes of food would be added to domestic supply.
He recalled that President Jonathan had promised that his administration would add 20 million tonnes of food to domestic supply by 2015, adding that this was only the first year.
``That is about 41 per cent of what we are targeting for in 2015. So we are working very hard.’’ Adesina said.
He promised that the ministry under his leadership and that of Alhaji Bukar Tijani, would ensure that Agriculture Transformation Agenda achieved its aim.
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