FG Seeks Private Sector Partnership to Boost Agricultural Sector

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Nume Ekeghe

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said that the federal government is currently looking to partner the private sector to boost agriculture value chain.
Also, Stanbic IBTC has also restated its commitment towards advisory and financing all components of the agricultural value chain.

Ogbeh said this yesterday at 2016 Stanbic IBTC Business Leadership Series, were the discussion was based on reforms in Nigeria’s agricultural sector with emphasis on improvements in infrastructure, agro-industrial zones, financing and an enabling policy environment crucial for the full exploitation of the agricultural value chain, attainment of food security, employment generation and wealth creation.

Ogbeh who was represented by the the Lagos State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Funlola Olusanya said: “There is need for so much change in the agriculture sector.We would always collaborate with the private sector, we are ever ready to go into partnership were necessary.
“Also the agric transformation agenda we started some years back that looks at the value chain, we also would start looking at not only production but look at processing and preservation. Those are the areas Nigeria also needs intervention,” she added.

On her part, the Chief Executive Officer Stanbic IBTC Holdings at Stanbic IBTC, Mrs Sola David-Borha said: “Agriculture for Nigeria is a game changer. I don’t think anybody in today’s Nigeria is disputing that. We all know the story about the enabling effect of agriculture on our economy the fact that it creates million if jobs across the entire value chain and it can drive export and much needed foreign exchange. I think the real challenge for us is unlocking the opportunity in agriculture and the execution of it, making everything we talk about a reality.”

She further said: “For us at stanbic IBTC, we consider agriculture a keg sector and we play across the entire value chain, financing advisory, machinery, partnership to help drive export. We believe that the platform we present would certainly help in supporting the federal governments drive towards diversification of the economy.”

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Doreo Partners, an agro-focused investment firm Mr. Kola Marshall said his firm had recently raised about $ 40 million to finance about 40,000 farmers in the next couple of years. These farmers he said are mostly unbanked, no permanent address and what most institutions classify as not eligible for financing and the payment rate was 99.9 percent.