By Oluchi Chibuzor
As farmers continue to adapt technology to mitigate losses, TAK Agro Plc has raised a N15 billion bond.
The company intends to acquire 250 trucks to improve logistics and enhance end-to-end agro value chain, with the fresh capital.
The initiative was part of the company’s efforts to reduce up to 50 per cent post-harvest losses, through the 16.49 per cent fixed rate secured bond to be due 2026, under a N50 billion medium term note programme.
Speaking with journalists, the Chairman, TAK Agro Group, Mr. Thomas Etuh, said the company was building integrated agriculture solutions to farmers as government policy encourages backward integration.
He said they it has acquired silos storage capacity across the country in Abuja, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kwara and Kebbi states respectively of 261,000 metric tonnes(MT) to store grains and 150,000MT warehouse.
According to him, “We have wastages in Nigerian farms across the country, 50 per cent of what the farmers produce are wasted because of lack of storage; and what causes this problem is logistics to storage facilities in the rural areas.
“They get good harvest but to move it from farm gate to the silos centre is always difficult because there is no enough transportation. But if the farmer is losing he is not going to buy input the following year, so our business decline.
“But to put a lock on the value chain, we carter for their input in terms of seed, agrochemical fertilizer which is what TAK is doing; So we have to also look at what ways to safe farmers from these losses and that is why a lot of them stops farming,” he noted.
The bond was oversubscribed by 110 per cent. The signing also witnessed the presence of financial institutions, regulatory bodies and was financed by Planet Capital.
On his part, the Managing Director, TAK Agro Limited, Mr. Valentine Nwandu, said the group was putting in place infrastructure by providing NPK fertilizers to farmers all the way to storage of grains for produce that comes from yield enhancement.
“We are building a pan-African agricultural platforms starting from fertilizer application to working with a lot of Agric-techs companies in terms of agronomy to doing aggregation of the yields and delivering to our Silos complexes.
“For us to do all these, it was clear to us that we need to control our logistics and to control ends of the chain. So we are coming out with the first bond to buy 250 trucks, from our calculation we require about 1000 for our immediate operations to support the activities of the group,” he said.