Supporting agriculture in Nigeria!

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Stakeholders in the agro-allied industry have stressed the need for government to adopt a holistic approach on how to support the entire value chain in agriculture production.

The stakeholders who converged  at the just concluded FirstBank Agric Expo seminar, held in Lagos recently, wants  government to encourage industries to be involved in areas such as storage, researching, processing, and export of finished agricultural products.

They believe  that  promoting agriculture through a holistic approach would stimulate activities on the entire value chain and thus help  boost sustainable wealth creation.

In the same vein,  it would help reverse the huge amount of money Nigeria spends  on food importation on a yearly basis and even lead to  creation of more jobs for the populace.

The  Vice President, Nigeria Agriculture Business Group, Emmanuel Ijewere, speaking at the occasion  said the value chain is the major challenge for the farmers.  He stated that  in every 130 per cent food production, 60 percent loss is incurred due to neglect of the storage aspect of food production, adding that an all-inclusive approach would make agriculture more productive, efficient and competitive through improved food production for domestic food supply.

According to him,  2.8 million tonnes of tomatoes are lost every year and  when  multiplied by N2,000 every year, it means  billions of Naira are usually lost to the farmers every year.

Ijewere noted that  building infrastructure would help to fix the value chain among other things.

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Meanwhile, the Group Vice President of Dangote Group, Sanni Dangote has  identified lack of research and funding as major threats to the growth of the agric sector stressing that funding all other logistics remains a major problem.

Similarly, the Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry (BoI), Waheed Olagunju, who asserted that  Nigeria has huge agricultural potential, however regretted that the country has so far failed to properly utilise these opportunities to derive the benefits.  He reiterated the need to grow agriculture and the need to solve  the problem of infrastructure deficit .

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Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of corporate organisations and Financial institutions have been urged to seek greater collaboration among stakeholders to enable them explore innovative opportunities in turbulent environment.

The Co-founder of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, while speaking at the FirstBank CEO Forum, said CEOs must ensure sustainability in their businesses, noting that greater collaboration enhances resource efficiency and help resist business volatilities

He  also opined that  an enhanced collaborative approach, would help deepen stakeholders’ involvement in policy development and social networks especially as a resource of institutional capital.

This he believes can become a reality through new initiatives which he says can be implemented rapidly.


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