To many it may seem like an insurmountable issue, but for Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s agriculture minister, promoting sustainable farming has become his personal mission, and for his commendable efforts Adesina has scooped the prestigious Forbes African of the Year award.
In the past decade, substantial revenues from oil export earnings has boosted Nigeria’s economy. Diversity into non-energy markets such as agriculture has largely been ignored despite reported food insecurities and child malnutrition in some parts of the Northeast.
It’s also Adesina’s goal to create Nigeria’s first agriculture billionaires, but his initiatives to support poor farmers through a voucher scheme that would give them access to seeds and fertilizer has come in for criticism from Nigeria’s main opposition party.
Forbes magazine says Adesina’s win encourages the rest of the region to grow its own food and feed itself.
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(Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
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