An agricultural expert, Mr Tunji Owoeye, on Friday, September 21, 2018 urged the government to provide an enabling environment to attract potential investors to invest in agricultural waste-to-wealth projects.
Owoeye, who is the Managing Director, Elephant Group Plc., made this call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He noted that a lot of agricultural waste could be converted into useful products via money-spinning ventures if potential investors were sure of getting good returns on their investment.
“Investors are looking for an enabling environment that could safeguard their investments in any sector.
“For investors to be attracted to invest in agricultural waste conversion projects, they want to be assured of the viability of their investment.
“For instance, waste generated from rice production can be used for so many things like generating electricity and producing rice oil, among others.
“Besides, a lot of things could be done with the waste generated from over 100 agricultural produce that we have but there has to be some protection and encouragement for any investment in those areas.
“Investors can come in once they are sure of getting value for their money in such ventures.
“If there are enlightenment activities on the opportunities existing in such ventures and the protectionist policies put in place, it will be easier to get more investors interested in the conversion of agricultural waste into wealth,’’ he said.
Owoeye said that the protectionist policies could be in the form of tax relief for pioneer companies, among others, adding that the policies would go a long way to encourage potential investors to set up agricultural waste conversion projects.
“This is because before taking critical decisions on investing in agricultural waste conversion projects, entrepreneurs would want to look at for the political environment as well as the stability and sustainability of the investment.
“If they harbour some doubts on the sustainability of the investment, it would be difficult for them to go on and invest in such ventures,’’ he said.
Owoeye said that agricultural waste recycling projects were currently undertaken at minor levels, adding, however, that the government should provide an environment that was conducive to the establishment of commercial waste conversion projects.
By Chidinma Agu