It’s no news that one of the most unexploited potentials in Sub Sahara Africa is Agriculture.
Nigeria, for example, is blessed with 84 million hectares of arable land (bigger than the land mass of most African countries), 60% (50.4) million of which is currently uncultivated: the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria via the Minister for Information; Lai Muhammad rightly asserted that; “Our soil can grow almost any crop and our vegetation supports animal life as varied as creation can manifest, our rivers and coastlines are rich with fishes and various kind of lives”.
Though a statement made by a veteran politician but not politically motivated and no gainsaying, it is indeed the true big picture of Nigeria’s abundant resources.
Ability to recognize and maximize this potential is a sure path to the availability of safe, sufficient and nutritious food for Africa.
It is in recognition of this fact, that YPARD Nigeria in collaboration with Ajaoko Agritech Limited organized a training on “Exploring Investment Opportunities in Agriculture”, where twenty young people were trained on how to recognize and maximize the economic potential in Nigerian agriculture.
Alifa Nicholas – the facilitator established that agriculture in Nigeria is characterized by dual value chains system – the traditional/informal and Modern/formal value chain; operating in parallel for the same product: Smallholders are frequently involved in informal chains that deliver products to local middlemen and then to small local stores. Formal value chains can deliver the same product, usually in better or more uniform quality, from larger farms or more organized groups of small farmers to more commercial wholesalers and from there to supermarkets or exporters. Each of the systems comprises of series of actors and actions which represent a potential investment opportunity.
During the breakout sessions, the participants were divided into three groups.
Group 1 discussed the actors and the actions involved in the informal value chains while group two discussed that of the formal value chains and group three could find out how smallholder farmers can be integrated into modern value chains for optimal benefit.
It was a swell time as passionate AgroMinds, brainstorm to provide sustainable solutions to poverty, hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria.
Picture credit: Nicholas Alifa