Eight States To Benefit From FG’s Agro-Processing Zones Programme

The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a special agro-industrial processing zones (SAPZ) programme in 7 states of the federation, including the FCT.

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Laolu Akande, spokesman of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

He said the project is in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other stakeholders in the agric sector, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Bank of Industry (BOI).

The programme is aimed at concentrating agro-processing activities in demarcated areas to boost productivity and integrate production, processing and marketing of selected commodities.

Akande said Osinbajo was briefed on the progress of the project in a meeting attended by Mohammed Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Niyi Adebayo, his counterpart in the Industry, Trade and Investment Ministry.

Under the programme, the federal government will demarcate areas across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to establish about 140 agro-processing centres.

He said the centres will be provided with basic infrastructure such as water, electricity and roads as well as facilities for skills training, while small-holder farmers in the catchment areas will be linked to markets across the value chain.

Akande said seven states — Ogun, Oyo, Imo, Cross River, Kano, Kaduna, Kwara — and the FCT have been selected for the first phase of the project.

Speaking on the progress recorded so far, Toda Atsuko, AfDB’s acting Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, said the bank in collaboration with other stakeholders is ready to start the first phase of the SAPZ programme, having completed a joint appraisal mission across the 36 states.

Atsuko commended the administration of Presidential Muhammadu Buhari for its efforts, adding that the plan will create jobs, and leverage technology with significant youth participation.

“I am very pleased to see that work has advanced and quite a bit is already being done. There is a need to synergize really concretely with Green Imperative (which is the partnership with the Brazilians), I think there are areas where these two programmes can complement each other,” he said.



Agricultural Development Fund Coming.

Nigerian farmers may soon have multiple access to funds for cultivation and other activities as a new National Agricultural Development Fund is coming.

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The new Fund, when it is established will draw funding from Nigeria’s annual budget from which it is expected to support the country’s agricultural sector.

The bill to establish the fund was passed by Senate on Wednesday following the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

When the bill is assented by President Muhammadu Buhari, the federal government will be compelled to allocate 10 percent of its national budget to agrucultura development in line with the MAPUTO declaration of 2003.

Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) explained that the purpose for the establishment of the Fund is to provide finance to support the strategic aspect of Agricultural Development in Nigeria.

He observed that to date, Nigeria is yet to fully implement the 2003 MAPUTO Declaration on Agriculture requiring States Parties to allocate 10 percent of its National budget to Agricultural Development.

“If this was done, Agricultural Research and Development, Food Production and Food Security would have witnessed a major leap”, Adamu said.

The Fund is to provide emergency support funding for Agricultural control access to finance trans-boundary animal disease outbreak; as well as support service through micro finance and collaborate with development partners to support food security and Agricultural modernization.

It addresses key binding constraints to complete transition from subsistence farming to modern Agriculture capable of generating inclusive growth and economic diversification.

There are several intervention programmes for agriculture sector especially in the banking industry administered by the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is expected that the new Agric development fund when it is eventually established will be complimentary.



AFEX raises $50 million to finance Agri-SME’s in Nigeria

The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is
expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the agric sector.
AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX), a private commodities exchange company, has announced the first Warehouse Receipt Backed Commercial Paper in Africa. The paper has tech- enabled operations and a 24-hour fast cash turnaround for borrowers.
This was disclosed by AFEX in statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday.
The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the Nigerian agricultural sector with a commodity- backed instrument- for the first time.
The warehouse receipts, which can then be transferred from commodities to a financial asset and listed under the borrower’s portfolio on the AFEX trading platform, will create a sustainable funding structure and address underfunding in the Nigerian agricultural sector.