The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has urged the Federal Government to increase its investment in agriculture to enable Nigeria regain its place in the sector.
The regional body Principal Programme Officer on Agriculture, Mr. Ernest Aubee, made the call in Abuja on Monday.
The programme officer said more investment in agriculture would attract and encourage more youths and women into the venture.
He said technology that would ensure quality seeds, fertiliser, good storage and packaging facilities, good transportation and marketing facilities should also be encouraged.
Aubee commended the federal government for its “Green Alternative” initiative, saying improved investment in the sector would help to translate the plan into reality.
He said, “Nigeria has been a leader in agriculture in the past but it went down at some point and oil and gas took over.
“Nigeria needs more investment in the agriculture sector now. All that is needed is more investment to transform agricultural plans into practical reality.
“They also need to modernize and mechanise where possible.
“The government needs to develop the markets; a lot of production is going on but they need to address some value chain issues like storage.
“For some agricultural commodities like fruits and vegetables, if you do not have proper storage, their shelf life is very short and they get spoilt.”