Sterling Bank holds agriculture summit, September 22

Sterling Bank Plc, in collaboration with Leadway Assurance, Saro Africa, Thrive Agric, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, GIZ AFC, Mastercard Foundation and Stears Data Arrangement, has concluded arrangement to hold the fourth edition of Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) between September 22nd and 23rd, 2021.

The event is expected to draw participants from across the African continent. According to a release made available to Sunday Sun, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Saro Africa, Mr. Rasheed Sarumi, will deliver the keynote address at the Summit.  

A statement issued by Group Head of Agric and Solid Minerals with Sterling Bank, Mrs. Bukola Awosanya, said the summit with the theme: ‘Building The New Agro Order,’ would hold remotely simultaneously in Abuja, and Lagos between September 22nd and 23rd. 

Awosanya described Sarumi as an accomplished entrepreneur who spearheaded the growth of Saro Agro Sciences as the pioneer Managing Director from inception in 1991 till 2010. “He is currently the GMD of Saro Africa International, a group made up of companies with an interest in agro-input solutions, heavy agro-industrial processing and consumer goods,” she said.

Giving further outline of the activities lined up for the summit, she said Professor Benedict Oramah would also present a keynote address on the Green Mile – AfCFTA, Trade and Africa’s Agribusiness Economy on the opening day of the summit, while Dr. Gerald Smith, Consulate General, Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon at the US Embassy, would present another keynote address on the closing day of the summit with the sub-theme: All-Inclusive Agriculture (Food Security, Raw Materials Production and Innovative Funding Solutions).

The session will be moderated and led by Kanayo Awani, Vice President of AFREXIM and Managing Director and CEO of Intra-African Trade and Dr Ikechukwu Kelikume, Head of Agribusiness Management Programme at the Lagos Business School.

The second session will discuss the theme ‘Non-oil Commodities Export as a Game Changer in the African Economy.’ Discussants include Dr Vincent Isegbe, DG, NAQS; Ebenezer Idachaba, representative of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA); Ayodeji Balogun, MD/CEO of AFEX; Kenneth Obiajulu and Serge Seudieu, Country Manager of ACE Global. It will be moderated and led by Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, ED/CEO, Nigeria Export Promotion Commission (NEPC).

Issues of food security, building a resilient food production system as well as innovative value chain financing in Africa are expected to engage the minds of discussants.

Why US, EU countries reject foods exported from Nigeria

source: The Punch

Stakeholders in the Nigeria agricultural food subsector, have decried the rejection of locally produced food crops exported to Western countries.

The stakeholders lamented the situation during the launch of agrochemical Safety Ambassadors in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, an initiative of Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, jointly implemented by Mercy Corps and Save the Children.

Stakeholders who are mostly farmers lamented their produce for export had been rejected because the produce contained high residues of agrochemical substances.

This is just as the Adamawa State Commissioner for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Daware Iya-Umar, also lamented that locally produced food crops for export get barred from European markets because agrochemical residues arising from wrong use or application of agrochemicals.

He said, ” Most of our goods were returned while exporting, based on the fact that they could not pass the test of quality control. That quality control might entail, the chemical content in our products due to lack of adequate knowledge on the application of agrochemicals.”

Other stakeholders including agricultural extension agents, agrochemical dealers who spoke through their representatives, all blamed the improper use and application of agrochemicals for making it difficult for Nigerian food produce to pass standards set for food safety.

Raymond Abogonye, acting deputy chief of party, Feed the Future Initiative, the United States government’s global hunger and food security initiative, said the United State government is very concerned about safety of the food we eat as well as who produce the food for, as motive behind the launch of agro-safety ambassadors.

He noted that the US and it’s European allies have food safety standards which must be adhered to from crop production up to storage but which had yet to observed by most farmers, particularly in their application and use of agrochemicals.

He said, agro-safety ambassadors which is the first level of awareness in addressing the challenge, in the pilot scheme, is expected to reach 500,000 farmers in the four states of Adamawa, Gombe, Borno and Yobe, where the activity is being implemented in the North East.

“Since we can’t reach everybody we want to use the facilitative market approach to include those who sell the chemicals themselves as those preaching the message of awareness to the farmers.

With over 1,000 agrochemical dealers on our register recruited for the campaign and each targeting 50 farmers on the safety use and application of agrochemicals,” he added.

Nigeria Exported N41.9bn Sesame, N13.7bn Cashew in 1Q 2021, Says FACAN

Source: ThisDayLive

Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN) has said Nigeria’s agricultural export stood at N127 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
The figure, according to the organisation, represents 128 per cent increase, compared to N55.8 billion in fourth quarters of 2020.

Chairman of FACAN, Edo chapter, Mr Enahoro Ojiefoh, stated this during the distribution of sesame seeds and cashew seedlings to farmers in Edo North Senatorial District yesterday.
Ojiefoh said sesame topped the list of agro-export commodities, with an estimated export value of N41.9 billion, while cashew nuts, both in-shell and shelled, valued at N13.7 billion.

Ojiefoh said sesame represented huge opportunities for the country in terms of generating export revenue, adding that it was a cash crop that could fetch the country $1.5 billion, if opportunities therein were maximised.
According to him, Nigeria has been one of the highest sesame seed producing countries over the years, thus making the seed an important component of the country’s agricultural export.

“Sesame seeds come from a flowering plant, mostly grown in Northern Nigeria due to the drought-resistant nature of the seed.
“Aside the fact that it has numerous health and industrial benefits and widely used for baking, medicine, cosmetics and animal feeds, it also has high oil content of about 44 per cent to 60 per cent.
“Reports have it that the global demand for the commodity is expected to grow at 4.2 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2024.

“Nigeria is expected to key into this, considering its land mass and the fact that the sesame is drought-resistant and requires minimal fertiliser, which makes it cheaper to cultivate than other crops,” he said.

FACAN’s chairman said that 55,000 cashew seedlings and 100 sesame seeds were to be distributed to farmers in the senatorial district for cultivation, stressing that the idea was to make Edo an agricultural export state.

He said that the association had designed a four-year master plan to inject one million cashew trees in multiple of hundreds yearly and 2,000 tonnes of sesame seeds yearly into the state’s economy.

Ojiefoh added that this could translate into about a minimum of N8 billion in value by the fifth year.
“But, for this to happen successfully, we humbly seek the support of the state government for, and collaboration of the private and organised sectors with, FACAN in actualising this goal within the next five years.

He urged the farmers to key into the agro-business export commodity by cultivating cashew and sesame for export production.

“FACAN will do all it takes to position you for success by being the investment broker, helping you understand the terrain and making you attractive to industries and factories, both home and abroad,” he said.

Orbih Asks South-south Govs to Enact VAT Law
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the South-south governors to give backing to the recent legal move to reposition the collection of Value Added Taxes (VAT) to states.
National Vice Chairman, South-south of the party, Chief Dan Orbih made this call yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Benin.

The party said that the recent judicial interpretation to the VAT law, which reposed in the federating states the powers to superintendent over the consumption tax showed that the judiciary was alive to its responsibilities.

“The court has placed VAT where the duty rightly belongs,” he said adding that it would be a catalyst for grassroots development.

Orbih noted that the recent action to seek interpretation of the VAT law by Rivers and later Lagos State, was a big window for the South-south and indeed other states to achieve the long desired quest for fiscal federalism.

“Yes, one must first commend the innovative and painstaking pursuit of this case by Governot Nyesom Wike of Rivers.
“This is a big window for the South-South states to achieve the long desired quest for fiscal federalism.
“With this development the long desired dream of many Nigerians for equitable distribution of resources has been given a very strong push.

“This is a bold and salutary move in restructuring our tax collection system. The soundness in the economics of Wike’s action is seen in the speed with which Lagos state moved in the same direction toward pursuing the same objective.”

Orbih described the Rivers and Lagos states’ domestication of the VAT law as a nonpartisan action driven by the burning desire to give practical meaning to fiscal federalism.

“I call on other state governors, especially in the South-South to move with dispatch in support of VAT collection and retention by states. I say to them, the South-south governors, to act now that the iron Is hot.”

The South-south PDP leader further said that the Nation could not continue to practice political federalism with overbearing unitary economic policies.

He stress that the action was in the interest of all.
According to him, what the judicial pronouncement will achieve is that it will encourage states to work harder in boosting economic activities and engender healthy competitive spirit that will in the end make Nigeria better for all.

Orbih, therefore, urged the other governors to embrace such welcome initiative and disregard the obvious but expected opposition from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS).

NIMASA’s Mandate Not to Generate Revenue, Says FG
The federal government has revealed that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) mandate is not to generate revenue.

It said the mandate of the agency was to act as regulator of maritime safety and security.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, explained this in a statement by the ministry ‘s Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe yesterday.
Amaechi made the disclosure at the final session of the five-day National Council on Transportation (NCT), held in the commercial city of Kano, Kano State.

He said: “People put NIMASA under pressure that they must make money; make money for what, NIMASA actually is a regulatory authority, not for them to go and look for money.
“The people that should be making money and they must hear it now is the Nigeria Ports Authority. It is their responsibility to make money.

”NIMASA should therefore focus on being a regulatory authority on issues of safety and security of our waterways.”
The minister expressed dismay over the inability to convene the NCT for the past three years due to economic downturn and advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He then expressed optimism that critical decisions bordering on transportation would be addressed at the summit.
“Transportation is essential to sustainable development as it enables access to employment, business, education, health services and social interactions.

”The prosperity and wellbeing of developing and developed world are inseparably linked to transport.
”As such, President Muhammadu Buhari has made issues relating to transportation, one of the topmost priorities of his administration,” he said.

On the state of the Dala Inland Dry Port, the minister said the federal government would not commission the project if it did not see a completed primary school offering free education to the many out-of-school children in the area.

“I want NSC to note this because that’s the agreement we had with the concessionaire.
”Shippers’ council can charge whatever you want to charge for the dry port but part of the profit that they make in the dry port will go to the upbringing of those children,“ Amaechi noted.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki said: “after the last time the council met, Nigeria ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).
”The ratification of the AfCTA is a new dawn with significantly positive ramifications for our collective future.

”Nigeria has an opportunity to leverage its geographical position, its large domestic market and industrial capacity to become the transportation hub for Africa.

”But this prize will not be easily won and there is much work to do to actualise this potential. It will require smart, rigorous, foresighted planning and swift, diligent execution across all modes of transportation,” she said.

Also speaking also, Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by his Deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, expressed satisfaction at the theme of the event, sustainable development as a panacea for national development.

”The theme gives me the impression that we are on the path of overcoming national development challenges. This is based on the fact that the transport industry is one promising sector that if exploited optimally, will stimulate the needed economic transformation in our country.

Agriculture: Nigeria’s Sesame exports could rise to $1.5 billion – FACAN

Source: Nairametrics

The Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN) has revealed that Nigeria had agriculture exports of N127 billion in Q1 2021, adding that Sesame topped the list of exported agriculture commodities at N41.9 billion.

It added that Sesame could contribute $1.5 billion to Nigeria’s agriculture exports if maximized and also called for the support of the state government and collaboration of the private and organised sectors with FACAN in boosting agriculture exports in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of FACAN, Edo chapter, Mr Enahoro Ojiefoh, during the distribution of sesame seeds and cashew seedlings to farmers in Edo North Senatorial District, over the weekend, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

FACAN revealed that sesame topped the list of agro-export commodities, with an estimated export value of N41.9 billion, while cashew nuts, both in-shell and shelled, were valued at N13.7 billion, and added that Sesame was a huge opportunity for Nigeria to earn major FX and export revenue, forecasting export revenues of $1.5 billion.

What FACAN said

Speaking during the event, Ojiefoh said, “Sesame seeds come from a flowering plant, mostly grown in Northern Nigeria due to the drought-resistant nature of the seed.

“Aside from the fact that it has numerous health and industrial benefits and is widely used for baking, medicine, cosmetics and animal feeds, it also has high oil content of about 44 per cent to 60 per cent.

“Reports have it that the global demand for the commodity is expected to grow at 4.2 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2024.

“Nigeria is expected to key into this, considering its land mass and the fact that the sesame is drought-resistant and requires minimal fertiliser, which makes it cheaper to cultivate than other crops.” 

He said that FACAN had designed a four-year master plan to inject one million cashew trees in multiple of hundreds yearly and 2,000 tonnes of sesame seeds yearly into the state’s economy, as it distributed 55,000 cashew seedlings and 100 sesame seeds to farmers in Edo state for cultivation, in a bid to boost agriculture exports in Edo state.

“But, for this to happen successfully, we humbly seek the support of the state government for, and collaboration of the private and organised sectors with FACAN in actualising this goal within the next five years.

“FACAN will do all it takes to position you for success by being the investment broker, helping you understand the terrain and making you attractive to industries and factories, both home and abroad,” he said.

Nigeria partners ADB, others to create Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones

Source: Premium Times

Nigeria’s federal and state governments have expressed overwhelming support for an initiative to create Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) – public-private partnerships aimed at developing priority value chains through developing infrastructure in rural areas, focused on finishing and transforming raw materials and commodities.

At a high-level briefing session held on Monday, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who hosted the meeting, reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to put in place enabling policies and incentives to attract private sector investment in the zones, to ensure successful implementation.

“The federal government is committed to successfully implementing the programme to increase agricultural production, reduce poverty, and scale up job creation across the country,” Mrs Ahmed said.

The participants, representatives of the African Development Bank Group, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), provided progress updates on the scheme, following their consultations with key stakeholders within the public and private sectors.

The Director General of the African Development Bank’s Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow, said the zones would be rolled out in 18 African countries, including Nigeria.

The Nigeria Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone programme consists of four mutually reinforcing components – infrastructure development and agro-industrial hubs management; agriculture productivity and production; policy and institutional development; and programme coordination and management.

“The Bank and its development partners are mobilizing $520 million to co-finance the first phase of the program in Nigeria, be implemented in phases across six geo-political zones,” Mr Barrow said.

Mrs Ahmed said all 36 States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory would be eligible to participate in the SAPZ programme. In addition to the Federal Capital Territory and 7 states – Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Imo, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo – participating in Phase 1, several other states have indicated interest in the SAPZ programme. These include Bauchi, Lagos, Niger, Jigawa, Ekiti, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Sokoto, Ondo, Nasarawa, Gombe and Kogi.

Oyebanji Oyeleran-Oyeyinka, Senior Adviser on Industrialisation to the President of the African Development Bank, said “the zone model is an explicit industrialization strategy to transform poor rural spaces into zones of prosperity, stem rural-urban migration, end human insecurity induced by herder-farmers clashes, and provide employment to Nigerian youth.”

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, commended the strategic initiative of the African Development Bank and its partners, and added “strong private sector participation will ensure that the project aligns with the Federal Government’s industrialization agenda.”

Also present at the meeting, African Development Bank Group’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford, said, “In the same manner that SAPZs have worked in other countries, it will create jobs, develop skills, and facilitate agricultural value chains development in Nigeria. Private sector investment is critical to the success of the SAPZs, as well as having the right policies in place. Action is needed now. The African Development Bank is ready to accelerate this action.”

IFAD’s Associate Vice President for Programme Management, Donald Brown, said, “this flagship project will enable us to take our relationship with the African Development Bank to another level. Our relationship started 43 years ago, and since then we have worked together on 52 projects. But I think the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones are the biggest and most high-profile project that IFAD and the Bank will work on together.”

Solomon Quaynor, African Development Bank’s Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, noted that “the quality of industrial policies and design will influence the quality of private sector operators that can be attracted into the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones.”R

Ougfaly Badji, IsDB’s Senior Agricultural Economist said the zones would enable producers, processors, and the entire agricultural value chain in Nigeria, to become more functional and profitable.

Special Agro-industrial Processing are a flagship initiative of the Bank’s ‘Feed Africa’ strategic priority. They aim to provide end-to-end solutions and services that de-risk production, processing, and marketing operations of private sector actors as they boost manufacturing and transformation capacity in production areas. The end result is improved livelihoods for millions in the rural areas as well as a reduction in poverty.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

‘Our target is 50% increase in food production by 2025’

Source: The Guardian

Determined to achieve food security in Lagos, the state government has restated its commitment to increasing food production by 50 per cent over the next four years, thereby creating new opportunities to feed itself and other states in Nigeria, as well as stimulating economic growth and prosperity through agriculture.

The State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, who disclosed this at an event organised to mark the 150th Cooperative Anniversary of Friesland Campina, said the present administration’s effort would boost economic growth and prosperity in the agriculture sector.

Referring to the recent launch of the Agriculture Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme, Hamzat said the launch is a clear reference to the expansion of government’s vision, which is driven by a “Farm to Table Model” and has so far empowered about 3,000 urban and rural farmers in key sectoral value chains in the process.

He said: “Under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State, as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, has further renewed the vigour and vision to increase food production by, at least, 50 per cent by 2025, thereby creating new opportunities to feed itself and Nigeria, as well as stimulating economic growth and prosperity through agriculture.”

The Deputy Governor hoped that even after the tenure of the current administration, the vision would be carried along into the future by other administrations with more farmer recruitments.

Hamzat stated that as Lagos State celebrates this anniversary with Friesland Campina, Nigerian investors and business communities must remember that the onus of building a great brand, such as Friesland Campina, is essential to safeguarding economic, cultural and historical traditions to strengthen the country’s unity.

While congratulating the company on the milestone, Hamzat thanked them for having faith in the nation’s economy, despite the trying and challenging environment.

Osun distributes cocoa seedlings, agro-chemicals to farmers

Source: The guardian

Osun State Government, on Tuesday, distributed 100,000 cocoa seedlings to about 1,000 farmers in the state.

The state government also distributed agro-chemicals, hand-spraying tools, limes, and other inputs to farmers across the local government areas of the state.

The government also inaugurated Osun Broilers Out-growers Production Scheme III (OBOPS) to enhance the capacity of livestock production and turn around the fortune of the scheme to be more profitable and attractive to farmers.

Farmers in each local government area got 1,500 cocoa seedlings as priority was given to the cocoa-producing local government areas of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola said the government efforts were aimed at actualising its set objectives to reposition agriculture and make Osun the food basket of the nation and the Southwest in particular.

Distributing the farm inputs freely to farmers at the Agriculture Demonstration Centre, Aisu, in Ede South Local Government Area of the State, Governor Oyetola noted that the initiative was aimed at actualising the agricultural revolution agenda of the government.

He said the government was committed to turning Osun into the food hub of the Southwest, as policies had been tailored towards ensuring adequate availability of fertile land, good roads, relatively good rainfall pattern, and above all, to ensure peaceful coexistence between the herdsmen and the farmers.

“I would like to remind this gathering of my inaugural speech where I promised that our administration would consolidate on the Agricultural Land Expansion Programme for the establishment of additional farm settlements.

“It is my pleasure to inform you that we have approved the establishment of 10,000 hectares of farmland to be used as a farm settlement at F3 in Ife-South Local Government in which 400 hectares of the farmland have been cleared to empower 1,000 youths in the cultivation of arable crops. Also, 23 hectares of farmland have been cleared at Ifon, in Orolu Local Government as a demonstration site for youths and women empowerment and agro-processing centres.

“To fulfill our electioneering promises in the agricultural sector, the government has embarked on a number of projects aimed at enhancing the economic base of the state and that of the farmers, especially the tree crop unit of the ministry, which is distributing cocoa seedlings freely.

“Also, the state government established a demonstration site at AISU, Ede, where greenhouse, with irrigation facilities, has been installed for all-year-round tomato production, construction of fish ponds, and milk collection centre to demonstrate good agricultural practices.

“Furthermore, the Extension Services delivery arm of the Osun State Agricultural Development Programme (OSSADEP) has been fortified to avail our farmers of new and improved up-to-date farming practices, while the Osun State Agricultural Development Corporation (OSSADEC) and Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security have been repositioned with the procurement of new tractors and its implements.

300 Oyo youths benefit from agribusiness empowerment scheme

Source: The Guardian

Over 300 youths from Oyo State have graduated from the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, held at the International Skill Acquisition Training centre, CSS Global Integrated Farm, Gora, Nasarawa State. 

The beneficiaries, who were part of the first batch of the 3,300 youths from the state were taken through a two-week intensive training across the fields of leadership in agribusiness, irrigation farming, Information/Communication Technology application in agribusiness, fishery farming and management, hydroponics farming, cassava and rice value chain and poultry farming, among others.

This is just as the state Governor, Seyi Makinde unveiled plans to expand the number of the beneficiaries from the initial 3,300 to 10,000 youths. 

He said the state would empower only 1,000 youths through the scheme.

“If 10,000 youths in the state were successfully trained and launched forward, if their annual turn over is about N10m, that means N100b economy for Oyo State.”

The Governor urged the youth to utilise what they were taught as the state government is ready to support them and also provide market for their produce. 

Earlier, the YEAP Coordinator and Director-General of the state Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr. Debo Akande, said the training is a starting point for the trainees, noting that everything required for the enterprises has been provided by the governor. 

He disclosed that when the youths return to the state they would be attached to various agricultural outfits like the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), among others where they would be provided additional knowledge to launch them in their Agribusinesses

He disclosed that the training programme was fully sponsored by the state government, adding that they would be provided with credit facility from Fidelity Bank that will enable them start well, perform optimally and if they move up the ladder, there will be other support. 

Buhari ratifies 2007 international Coffee Agreement 

President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed and ratified the International Coffee Agreement, 2007. This was done on the 17th of August, 2021 after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved Nigeria’s membership of the in the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity confirmed this in a statement on Thursday, in Abuja.

Shehu state that “the FEC meeting has drawn a conclusion on the agreement on October 21, 2020, with emphasis on Conclusion 10, which approved the preparation of the instrument of Ratification Of Nigeria’s membership of the International Coffee Organisation and International Coffee Agreement of 2007.

“The 2007 Agreement will strengthen the ICO’s role as a forum for intergovernmental consultations, facilitate international trade through increased transparency and access to relevant information.

“The agreement is an important instrument for development cooperation and will provide the legal framework for core activities undertaken by the Organisation in the Future.”

He added that the agreement would promote a sustainable coffee economy for the benefit of all relevant stakeholders, and particularly, of small-scale farmers in coffee-producing countries.

The Instrument of Ratification was prepared by the Attorney-General of the federation and Minster of Justice, Abubakar Malami

Source: Udua.africa

TGI Group seeks cultivation of sesame to boost foreign exchange

Source: The Guardian

Nigeria has been urged to support the cultivation of sesame to boost the country’s foreign exchange.

This was the submission of experts at the International Sesame Seed Conference, which ended in Kano, yesterday.

The conference was organised by the National Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria (NSSAN) in collaboration with Kano State Government and support from TGI Group, parent company of WACOT Limited, leading food and agro-allied company.

President of the association, Sherrif Balogun, said: “We are currently doing 500,000 tonnes. For Nigeria to maximise its potential, it has to first increase production, and secondly set up dehauling plants for value-addition, and thirdly to set up a sesame oil processing plant.

Also, Corporate Affairs Director, TGI Group, Sadiq Kassim, said TGI was committed to its cultivation, noting that in the last five years, sesame has progressively assumed the role of Nigeria’s leading export commodity.