The future looks bright for the Nigerian Agric sector, as Crenov8 Consulting discovers a new market for Nigerian produce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This was the talking point at a press briefing held yesterday in Lagos, ahead of a ‘Meet the Farmers Conference’ for Agric stakeholders which is slated to take place in Lagos on October 10th.
Speaking at the event, the Business Strategy Consultant at Crenov8 Consulting, Gbemisola Ajide stated that there is a growing food demand in the UAE; a need which the company is now working to take advantage of by linking Nigerian (and African farmers) with the opportunities that exist.
She listed examples of farm produce the UAE imports, examples of which include cocoa, wheat, ginger, and sugarcane, etc. At least 20% of UAE’s Agric imports are produced in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the country has yet to fully explore the opportunities that abound in the Gulf nation.
“MTFC is targeted at both large and small small-scale farmers to tap into the $100 billion market in Dubai, that’s why we are partnering with relevant stakeholders across both government with Bank of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture as well as the private sector with the likes of Farmcrowdy and AFEX to help us aggregate farmers to export Agric produce to the UAE.” – Crenov8
Gathered at the press briefing were numerous stakeholders in the Agric sector, all of whom applauded the initiative while also emphasising the need for standardised packaging of Nigerian farm produce as a way of ensuring success in Agric exportation.
On his part, the Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management at Bank of Agriculture, Prince Niyi Akenzua praised the initiative while stressing the need to ensure its sustenance until it achieves the main objective of linking Nigerian Agribusiness owners with the UAE market.
He called on Nigerians to invest more in the agriculture in order to avoid a situation whereby foreigners would come in and take up all the opportunities just like they once did in the oil and gas sector.
Also speaking at the event was Mr Babatunde Ruwase, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce. According to him, the conference will further encourage more stakeholders to invest in Agriculture and help build trade ties with the UAE especially Dubai.
Other stakeholders represented at the press briefing include NEXIM Bank, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and AFEX Commodities Exchange. They all agreed that it is essential for the initiative to succeed as it would be good for Nigeria’s image and economy, especially at a time when Nigeria is trying to diversify.
The ‘Meet the Farmers Conference’ is supported by several organisations and institutions, including the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lagos State’s Ministry of Agriculture, Farmcrowdy, etc.
In his address, the company’s CEO, Onyeka Akumah, stated that the conference will go a long way in bringing Agric stakeholders in Africa together to link every step of the agricultural value chain under one umbrella where all sectors can discuss the crucial issues in Agriculture, find innovative solutions to them and most importantly benefit from each other.
The Meet the Farmers conference is a one-day event titled “Bridging the Gap between the Middle East and Africa: The Future of Agribusiness”. It will enable Nigerian Agric stakeholders to discuss ways to connect large-scale agro commodity producers to buyers in the Middle East.
It is an initiative of Crenov8, a consulting and digital technology firm originally from the UAE and now operating in Nigeria and elsewhere.
This is the second year the conference is taking place in Africa. The first conference took place in Ghana back in July.