Professor Minde underscores need for private investment in agriculture

A senior agricultural policy analyst has called on the private sector to consid- er agriculture as a lucra- tive business and invest more in transforming it. Professor Isaac Minde said there were abun- dant opportunities in the agricultural sector which need to be taped.

“The agriculture sector, which employs over 80 per cent of the country’s work- force, can hardly thrive if the private sector is not in- volved due to capital that is badly required,” he told Business Times recently.

For instance, he point- ed out, mechanisation in agriculture is still at 19 per cent in general and the private sector has done little to modernise it. According to him, we would like the private sec- tor to be the centre; ag- riculture should be con- sidered as a business not just an activity for poor people but an activity that can generate wealth. He added that the pri- vate sector should see op- portunities in agriculture and partner with stake- holders to modernise the sector, saying that bene- fits are many, from em- ployment and wealth gen- eration, to ensuring food security in the country.

Prof. Minde stated that the private sector should tap into various areas of agriculture such as val- ue chain, input supply, boosting production and then after production such as in processing and the commercialisation. He encouraged the pri- vate sector to appreciate and tap into the opportu- nities in the sector, add- ing that the questions they ask include the is- sue of land, promoting organic agriculture and linking them to markets.