Grow Africa signs pact with NABG, others to increase investment in Agric
In the bid to boost private sector investment in agricultural value chain, Grow Africa, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NEPAD and Nigeria Agric Business Group (NABG) to bring donor partners, government and farmers to work with them, to achieve a multi-stakeholder platform in the country.
At a stakeholder consultative meeting organised by Grow Africa, in partnership with the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and NABG, in Lagos, aside the MoU, the meeting aimed at getting on-the-ground information from farmers and private agribusiness investors and to identify systemic and entrenched barriers hindering agriculture investment in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Grow Africa, William Asiko, who disclosed that the collaboration would bring together different actors in the value chain, said they have agreed to focus on Cassava, Rice and horticulture.
He noted that along the value chain, the stakeholders would develop Cassava value chain for private sector, who demonstrated interest to invest, adding that once they show interest, “we would analyse the policy commitment required, in order to make the investment happen, and we’ll get the government to commit to those policy commitments, to make the investment viable for the private sector.
“We are not just talking, its about talking about what we want to do. We would first look at the priority value chain; we have agreed to focus on Cassava, Rice and horticulture, along the value chain. Funding is going to be required to bring the actors together, to train them to increase their productivity. All these would require resources. Development partners would come in, government would come in to help with the capacity and the technological aspect.”
He emphasised the need to make the sector attractive, noting that due to inconsistent policies of government the onus lies on the private sector to make it attractive to help to create jobs, and lift farmers out of poverty.
On his part, the Vice President of Dangote Group, Sani Dangote, who noted that in the agric value chain, there is no responsibility for any single player, echoed the need for a total collaboration and partnership between different segments, so that stakeholders can channel their energies to improve the value chains.
“This MoU is meant to share ideas, challenges, and to find common solutions for the rural, small, medium and large scale players, also agro processors for total adding value to their businesses. From the public to the private sector, we must sit together, on a common ground where all the players would be able to create trust and stability,” he said.
In her keynote address, CEO NEPAD Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, represented by Director, Programs Development & Implementation, Folayan Ayodele, said forging the right partnership is crucial for the sector in order to realise its full potential for economic growth and job creation, particularly among farmers, women and youth.