The Nigerian mushroom sub-sector can contribute N1.8trn to the country’s revenue base if properly developed by the Federal government.
The Chairman of the Mushroom Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Michael Awunor disclosed this at the inaugural summit of the National Mushroom Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria held on Tuesday in Abuja.
The summit was themed “Harnessing the Nation’s Non-Oil commodities through the Development of Mushroom value chain.”
Awunor noted that besides improving the country’s gross domestic product, the subsector can create 16 million jobs for Nigerian youths and women.
The Chairman said, “The world mushroom market as at the end of 2020 stood at about $45.3bn and we are determined to earn 10 per cent of it.
“The 10 per cent earnings when analyzed on the global mushroom market is estimated at about $4 53bn. If calculated on about N400 to a dollar official rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the $4.53bn translates into about N1.8trn.
“It is estimated that mushroom sub-sector along the value chain could provide 16 million skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs to the teeming unemployed Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education graduates, vulnerable youths and women.”
He stressed the need for the FG to reduce its dependency on oil to generate revenue, stating that oil-reliant economy is “both unsustainable, unrealistic and cannot stand the test of time given the emerging trend in the global economy.”
He therefore called on the FG and principal stakeholders in the agricultural sector to take more interest in the well-being of the non-oil sector if the goal of diversifying the economy away from oil is to be achieved.
While commending the efforts of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in supporting the sector, the chairman called for more assistance, particularly with regards to funding.
“We commend government, in particular, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and investment our umbrella Ministry for nurturing us to our present status. However, a lot still needs to be done to strengthen us financially.
“In specific terms, Government needs to be more interested in the well-being of commodities association if the goal of diversifying the economy away from oil is to be achieved.
“The current system where commodities associations once formed bear the responsibilities of funding their capital and recurrent expenditures does not augur well for the associations that are expected to bring a turnaround in the production of their commodities,
“We call on corporate bodies to show interest in the commodities that abound through their respective associations lend a hand to boost the productive Capacities of the farmers and all hands in the entire value chains,” he added.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo in his speech said that the government is putting in place measures to diversify the economy.
He said the Ministry understood the importance of commodities to the diversification agenda of the government adding that right support would be provided for the sector to thrive.