Non-oil sector is critical to Nigeria’s economic recovery in 2021 – Cordros Capital

Source: Nairametrics

Nigeria’s GDP growth and eventual recovery in 2021 is expected to be heralded and driven by the Non-oil sector of the economy.

This disclosure was made in the presentations at the e-press conference titled “Positioning in the new normal” by Cordros Capital.

According to the report…

  • In 2020, the Non-oil GDP dipped by 2.5% year-on-year which was attributed to the lingering impact of the pandemic on business activities, with partial easing of lockdown restrictions.
  • The Oil GDP also dipped by 13.9% year-on-year as a result of 18.1% year-on-year decline in crude oil production, as Nigeria fully complied with the OPEC+ agreements.
  • In 2021, the Non-oil sectors are expected to spearhead the economic recovery with the Services sectors growing by 2.69%. The Agriculture sector is expected to remain as resilient as it was in 2020 and grow by 1.89%, but the Manufacturing sector will dip by 0.89% as a result of weakening demand as well as limited FX supply constraints.

Why this matters

Nigeria’s economy has been quite monolithic since the 1980s and this has been persistently threatened by the instability in crude oil prices in the international market.

The need for the diversification of the Nigerian economy from over-dependence on oil cannot be overemphasized, especially going by the unstable and fluctuating global oil prices. This is aimed at minimizing the country’s vulnerability to macro-economic risks, such as production fall, fall in demand and price, and also a run out of reserves.

In the early ’60s, agriculture was a booming sector – Groundnut, Cotton, Cocoa, Palm-kernel, etc, coupled with other mining activities were the major sources of the booming tradable goods before the advent of oil and its predominance in the Nigerian economy.

No doubt, the non-oil sector has what it takes to unlock the economy of Nigeria and position it on the path of resilient and sustained growth, if optimally harnessed.

Nigeria to get five new cassava varieties

Source: Premium Times

Five new cassava varieties developed with support from NextGen Cassava have been approved for release in Nigeria.

This was contained in a recent report by NextGen Cassava Breeding Project, an international partnership led by Cornell University.

According to the report published Thursday, these next generation varieties deliver promising options for smallholder farmers in resisting cassava diseases and marketing their crops to consumers.

It said the new varieties were named Game-Changer, Hope, Obasanjo-2, Baba-70 and Poundable.

“The five next generation varieties feature high yields and robust disease resistance important for farmers and characteristics sought by consumers,” the report said.

It noted that “Poundable” is the first fresh market variety released in Nigeria, while ‘Hope’ and ‘Baba-70’ have excellent gari and fufu quality to address the processed food market.

The report, however, said ‘Game-Changer’ and ‘Obasanjo-2’, have high and stable starch content, which is desired by industrial processors for flour, starch and ethanol.

“The varieties were approved December 17 by Nigeria’s National Variety Release Committee,” the report added.

Sabo Nanono, minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), was quoted to have said “The foundation of a solid crop value chain is based on best-bet varieties,”

Reactivate Marketing Boards

Source: Leadership

Nigeria’s food inflation has more than doubled in the last seven months. There is currently an unprecedented rise in the cost of food, especially staple foods and consumables.

These categories of food are completely out of the reach of majority of Nigerians economically, thanks to poor government policies, insecurity and the coronavirus pandemic. Today, only a few Nigerians can comfortably afford a three-square meal.
What is more, the global economy, Nigeria inclusive, has been experiencing a continuous downward drift as a result of the pandemic, resulting in upward movement of inflation rate. Nigeria’s current inflation rate is 12.69 per cent, while general food index has doubled and skyrocketed.

In the light of the current food inflation in the country we, as a newspaper, committed to the wellbeing of the people, demand that Nigeria returns to the era of agricultural marketing boards, where nation can have a guaranteed price for farm produce for farmers, and food affordability for a good number of Nigerians.

In retrospect,The powers of marketing boards range from advisory and promotional services to full control over output and sales. Marketing boards encourage low-cost production, which at the end of the day benefits consumers. This is more so because they buy farm produce from farmers and resell to others in order to prevent price instability.
We have not forgotten in a hurry how past politicians abused the old marketing boards in the country.

They found the boards as a ready‐made instrument for taxing farmers, enriching themselves and financing their political activities. The pricing policies discouraged farmers from producing enough and therefore rendered the boards redundant, which eventually led to their abolition.

But more than ever before, there is the need to bring back agricultural marketing boards in order to stabilise the price of food in the country. The current inflation rate implies that the purchasing power of consumers has worsened and their ability to afford the same quantity of goods and services they hitherto enjoyed has reduced despite income level remaining same. In some other cases, people have either lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic or have had their salaries and wages cut terribly.
Experts have, on the other hand, suggested that the best solution to the issue of food inflation in the country is to empower farmers to produce more, using technology. For now, food production in this part of the world depends largely on nature – rainfall and increased acreage.
The yield per hectare for farming in the country is well below global standards, driving up the cost of whatever is left to be sold to Nigerians. Unfortunately too, farmers also face insecurity, flooding, and sometimes famine affecting their ability to plant and harvest. Even after harvesting, supply chain challenges still persist, leaving farmers to contend with middlemen, transportation, and storage. The result is far less farm produce reaching the final consumer. And this is why as a newspaper we believe that functional marketing boards will minimise these crises.
Even for items under government control, it still cannot sorely determine the outcomes, the causes and effects. In September last year, the government announced the banning of maize, only to somersault after learning that poultry farmers lacked maize feeds to grow chickens. It quickly reversed itself and granted licences to four companies for the importation of maize.
The key drivers of food inflation in Nigeria have been identified to be insecurity in many farming communities across the country, cost of transportation, the effect of climate change, productivity issues in agriculture and the near total absence of commercial agriculture in the country and cost of farm inputs.
It is imperative to scale up productivity in agriculture, address the climate change issues and improve the security situation in order to improve agricultural output and reduce the risk of food crisis in the country.
The Buhari administration has made some concerted efforts in tackling food inflation/ insecurity. It has demonstrated its commitment in this regard in the last five years through policies on food importation and Central Bank’s intervention programmes for farmers. Nonetheless, it is only functional marketing boards with a clear mandate, in our view, that can ensure the success of these policies and programmes.
The problem can be solved when the CBN efforts at funding agricultural programmes and banning food importation is augmented by the government solving the issue of insecurity which has kept farmers off their farmlands in most communities across the country. This is aside reactivating the nation’s moribund agricultural marketing boards

Stakeholders list AfCFTA gains in agricbusiness despite $73b infrastructure gap

Source: The Guardian

Although Sub-Saharan Africa requires massive investment, with over $73b needed on irrigation and storage infrastructure alone to unlock potentials of agricultural sector, some stakeholders, yesterday, said with the right policies, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) may address existing barriers to agricbusiness and limit the continent’s vulnerability from excessive import of agric produce.

Currently, Africa barely trades with itself. Just 16 per cent of African exports are destined for other African countries, which is considerably less than 59 per cent of trade within Asia and 68 per cent within Europe, due to high tariff and infrastructure bottlenecks. 

Agriculture is the largest employer in Africa, accounting for 38.5 per cent of total employment, Tingo International Group CEO, Dozy Mmobuos noted, while stressing that it remained unacceptable for many African countries to continue to depend on imports from outside the continent for their food security.

Although Sub-Saharan Africa requires massive investment, with over $73b needed on irrigation and storage infrastructure alone to unlock potentials of agricultural sector, some stakeholders, yesterday, said with the right policies, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) may address existing barriers to agricbusiness and limit the continent’s vulnerability from excessive import of agric produce.

Currently, Africa barely trades with itself. Just 16 per cent of African exports are destined for other African countries, which is considerably less than 59 per cent of trade within Asia and 68 per cent within Europe, due to high tariff and infrastructure bottlenecks. 

Agriculture is the largest employer in Africa, accounting for 38.5 per cent of total employment, Tingo International Group CEO, Dozy Mmobuos noted, while stressing that it remained unacceptable for many African countries to continue to depend on imports from outside the continent for their food security.

For irrigation and storage alone, global research body, Mckinsey noted that as much as $73b would be needed in Sub-Saharan Africa, while admitting that Africa’s full agricultural potential remains untapped.

As of 2019, Nigeria was reportedly the largest rice importer in the world, importing about 3.4 million metric tons. To underscore economic losses to agric import, despite huge natural resources to address food insecurity, over $1b is spent yearly on fish import to the country.  
    
Mmobuosi, stating that there were opportunities for the sector to perform better, stressed that farmers were hindered by inadequate funding, lack of expertise and poor product quality.

“AfCFTA can play an important role in facilitating intra-regional trade in agri-food products, including from surplus to deficit areas, thereby stabilising food prices and improving food security. The AfCFTA also offers an opportunity to promote agricultural transformation and improve competitiveness through regional agricultural value chain development. For this to happen, many countries will require accompanying policies to improve productive capacities and promote investment,” he said.

Mmobusi also projected increase in industrialisation and export diversification through AfCFTA, noting that both developments are urgent objectives, going by the challenges posed by current COVID crisis. 

He said: “In addition to beginning to trade under the agreement, implementation itself may remain complicated, given the need for Customs officials to be trained and systems put in place and used. 

“Many of the benefits expected also depend on a combination of AfCFTA with other supporting policies affecting investment, infrastructures, and productive capacities within the private sector. There is also a need to augment mind-set in the private sector looking towards the African market,” he said. 

While Mmobuosi’s US, UK and Nigeria based company have offered support to about nine million farmers, provided access to market, technology and helping to improve produce, the Group CEO noted that It was essential that companies develop products, ideas and strategies to support governments and stakeholders across the continent. 
   
The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim, said growing population across the world create massive opportunity for farming to address food insecurity, and that AfCFTA provides good opportunity for Africa to feed the world.

But for that to happen, he said the continent must upscale productivity and improve quality of agriculture produce to meet global standard. Ibrahim also noted that value addition should remain the continent’s priority, and that export of raw material would add little to economic development.

How Bauchi Graduates Found New Love In Agriculture

Source: The Leadership

They live approximately 100 kilometres apart, but Ishaq Mohammed and Happiness Zakka share many things in common—they are both graduates of National Certificate in Education (NCE). They both applied severally to get employed under the state’s Ministry of Education for teaching jobs, but they were not lucky to be employed by the state government, and finally, they resorted to agriculture to make ends meet.

Ishaq Mohammed, a resident of Birshin Fulani, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, is into both dry and wet season farming and sometimes rears animals whose dung he uses as manure for his crops. For him, waiting endlessly in search of white collar jobs in a country he described as ‘frustrating in all fronts’ isn’t the best idea for any school leaver.
He said agriculture is the easiest way to start for any graduate who does not have enough capital… “Because with as little as N10,000, one can start a small farming business and with patience and perseverance, you can grow it and make it big.”

Speaking with LEADERSHIP at his farm, Ishaq said; “Although we have no support from the government, we effortlessly started this farm and gradually, we are making progress because we plant different kinds of crops, mostly perishable crops during the rainy season.”

He said within three months, the investment would start yielding something and you can use it to reinvest in the farm by growing other varieties of crops that would later earn you money.
For Ishaq, he is not only a lone farmer, but also described himself as an employer of labour, adding, “As you can see with your eyes, sometimes I hire men to help me till the soil in order to plant the crops and water them using water pump machines and I use the proceeds from the farm to settle them.

“Sometimes I enter agreements with them to make a commitment to pay them after harvest, and you will see me paying them close to N200, 000 after harvest. With that, I think I’m invariably an employer of labour”, he said.

Ishaq who said though the government had not done enough to support youths in agriculture, he noted that lack of support was not enough reason for unemployed youths to venture into criminal activities.

“I keep telling my friends that despite the inability of our governments at all levels to invest through support and other incentives, it is not a reason for someone to destroy his life by resorting to crime.
“If you are not lazy, there are many menial jobs you can venture into that will fetch you money which you can reinvest to support your life and help people around you. When you do that, it earns you more respect, such that you don’t have to wait for government endlessly in a desperate search for juicy jobs that are available only for the connected ones,” he said.

“I studied Bio-Chemistry and my passion was to be a school teacher, but I had to jettison the idea and resort to farming since the government was not ready to employ me,” he added.

He said he refused to be employed in a private school because of what he termed ‘exploitative tendencies’, “Where you work round the clock 24/7 and be paid N7,000 at the end of the month.
“I rejected the offer and started farming with just N50,000 and now I can tell you that I have up to N200,000 invested in this farm and I did not obtain loan from anyone.”

When LEADERSHIP visited him at his farm, it was observed that Ishaq had already cultivated two hectares of land where he planted onions, tomatoes, pepper and garden eggs.

When asked whether he had access to the smallholders’ farmers’ loan being granted by the CBN, Ishaq said, “The initiatives are mostly too bureaucratic, we have written series of proposals and submitted to the CBN, but I have not heard anything from them again, and of the few of us that were called for interviews, none was granted any support.”

He expressed hope that the state governor, Bala Mohammed, would support his likes to improve their yields.
“I learnt that the state government had sent some youths to Nasarawa State where they were taught modern agriculture, but I don’t know anyone in our area who benefitted from the training.
“I hope and pray that he will remember us and also pick from among us since we are already into farming with all passion and energy,” he said.

For Happiness Zakka, another NCE holder, her major frustration with farming is lack of fertilizer, saying the government had not done enough to support them.
“I resorted to farming since I could not get a job, and the government promised to support us with fertilizer, but here we are, we could not see anything.

“In the past, the government used to support us with fertilizer, but till now, we could not get that anticipated support from the government,” she said.
Happiness told LEADERSHIP that although their major mainstay in Bogoro for generations had been agriculture, she linked the lack of fertilizer to Hon. Musa Wakili Nakwada, the Bauchi State Assembly member representing Bogoro Constituency and Ilya Habila, the local government chairman.

She said they had not done enough to present their needs to the state government.

“They have not done much to help us in that aspect, because they have what it takes to fight for us. This is the worst farming season I have experienced for years now, I learnt that our lawmaker distributed fertilizer on loan, but it was only given to a few of his political allies,” she said.

Zakka said before the outbreak of the coronavirus, female farmers usually formed cooperatives groups “where we converged in large numbers to support one another on the farms, last year, we could not do that because of the need for social distancing,” she said.

She said although she resorted to farming in order to keep herself afloat and support her husband and her four children, the pandemic had really affected them as a household.
“We suffered two things last year- the coronavirus pandemic and lack of support such as fertilizer and improved seeds—the impact of which is very visible in our farmlands,” she added.

Zakka said during the 2019 farming season, she was able to harvest about 20 bags of rice, which was not the case last year.

“I may not even get up to seven bags of rice this year”, she lamented.
According to her, though the cry of unemployment among youths in Nigeria is loud and clear where thousands of graduates continue to roam the streets in search jobs, agriculture according to her is the quickest solution.

“Despite lack of support, I still find comfort in agriculture since one can confidently grow crops that would feed the household for complete 12 months.
“You can even sell part of the crops to do other things, doing so is more rewarding than waiting for government jobs”, she added.

Happiness Zakka added that it was high time for Nigerian graduates to venture into agriculture as solution to the number of unemployed graduates.

“If you look at things critically, you would realise that there is a correlation between an increase in the crime rate and lack of jobs among youths in the country.

“So, if the government can do enough investment in the areas of agricultural practices, the sector can absorb most of the graduates, and by implication, we will reduce the pressure exerted on government jobs that are increasingly shrinking,” she posited.

If her words are anything to go by, the idea will help reduce the unemployment rate in Nigeria which according to experts could spell doom for the country if unchecked.

LEADERSHIP recalls that a study by the National Bureau of Statistics at second quarter 2020 posited that the country’s unemployment rate had grown to 27.1% up from 23.1% in the third quarter of 2018.

Kamal Idriss, an economic expert in Bauchi, said when the likes of Ishaq and Happiness are not incentivized by the government, the unemployment figure in Nigeria would continue to get worse in 2021 which would adversely affect the country’s social fabrics.

How Nigerian govt distributed rice seeds to companies in 2020

Source: Premium Times

As Nigeria plans to increase the production of rice, 20 seed companies benefited from rice seed distribution by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural (FMARD) across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory in 2020.

This was disclosed in a document obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

Nigeria officially banned the importation of rice two years ago, to improve the local production of rice.

In 2017, the production of rice paddy rose to about seven million metric tons (mmt) under the Buhari administration, which seems to be the highest since 1999.

In August 2019, the Nigerian government closed its land borders, three months after signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

The agreement was to curb the influx of smuggled goods from neighbouring countries such as Benin, Niger and Cameroon, and as well boost local food production.

This distribution of seeds is coming under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Agricultural Transformation Policy of 2016- 2020.

The distribution is part of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), which was launched in 2016 but expired in December 2020.

The policy was to consolidate on the already established Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), policy.

The new policy was geared towards the provision of a conducive legislative and agricultural framework, macro policies, security-enhancing physical infrastructure and institutional mechanisms.

This was to enhance access to essential inputs, finances, information on innovation, agricultural services and markets.

The policy was to address eight key areas: access to land, soil fertility, access to information and knowledge, access to inputs, production management, storage, processing and marketing and trade.

The 20 companies

The document said 1.4 tonnes were distributed to the companies. This means each company got 700 kg each; 14 bags of 50 kg each.

According to the document, 13 of the seed companies are located in the North West, six in the North Central, one in the South East and one in the North East.

Among the 13 companies in the North West, four companies are in Kaduna State, five of them are in Kano, one each in Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, and Kebbi.

In the North Central, two seed companies are in Plateau, one each in FCT, Nasarawa and Niger.

However, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) was listed as the only cooperative to be part of the sharing.

When PREMIUM TIMES reached out to some of the companies they confirmed receiving seeds from the FMARD.

The President of Value Seed Ltd (Kaduna), George Zangi, told this newspaper he got 700 kg worth of breeder seeds. That is, 50kg bags in 14 places.

Also, the acting managing director Maslaha seeds Nigeria (Zamfara) said the company got 700 kg each of faro 66 and faro 67.

Just like others, the chief executive officers of Jammy Nagari seeds (Kastina) Umaru Yusuf and Richard of Olafare of Romaret venture Nigeria said they were among the companies that received seeds from the government.

The document said the seeds were sourced from the National Cereals Research Institute of Nigeria, Niger.

The rice seeds distributed were breeder seeds, foundation seeds and certified seeds of Faro 66 and 67.

Basically, there are five different categories of seeds: Nucleus Seeds, Breeder’s Seeds, Foundation Seeds, Registered Seeds and finally certified seeds.

A breeder’s seed is obtained from nucleus seed, while the breeder births the foundation seeds and the foundation seeds produce certified seeds.

The seeds which seeds companies sell to farmers “certified seeds”.

The certified seeds which are grown under tight production requirements usually have improved traits such as resistance to pests and tolerance to herbicide and drought.

47% of farmers have no access to any kind of storage facilities – SBM Intel

Source: Nairametrics

SBM Intel, a geopolitical research and strategic communications consulting firm has revealed that 47% of farmers have zero access to any kind of storage facilities during harvest, which could rise up to as high as 60% for tubers, fruits and vegetables.

This was revealed in its report titled: “Nigerians just want to eat: Analysis of Farmers and Food Transporters challenges likely to impede National Food Security,” and seen by Nairametrics.

On post-harvest losses 

  • “Agricultural products are easily perishable while production remains seasonal, and demand for farm produce is present throughout the year,” SBM said.

They added that bridging the gap entails adequate storage for farm produce, however, farmers of these outputs may be unable to acquire their own storage facilities.

Citing that the absence of storage facilities forces Nigerian farmers to sell their harvest at low prices to middlemen who own warehouses.

  • “In our survey, almost half (47%) of the farmers interviewed had no access to any kind of storage facilities. The lack of storage facilities contributes to post-harvest losses which could get as high as 60% for tubers, fruits and vegetables.”

They added that lack of storage, however, is not the only factor contributing to losses, as some losses occur during harvests and “others occur while the commodities are in transit, during offloading (due to poor handling), and in varying degrees in the entire process from farm to fork.”

The report urged that for Nigeria to avert a food security catastrophe, state and federal governments need to prevent “even higher food prices across the country through various short and long term measures.”

They said:

  • “In the immediate, the government must fully reopen land borders and end the ban on using forex to import staple crops.
  • “After placing maize on the list of items no longer eligible for foreign exchange only on 14 July 2020, the President announced the release of 30,000 tons of maize from emergency reserves on 2 September, and also gave approval to four firms for the importation of 200,000 tons of maize. This could replicate itself for items like rice and cassava in the coming months, items which millions of Nigerians depend on for sustenance.
  • “For the longer term, wider adoption of irrigation, facilitating the provision of early maturing and drought-resistant crop varieties and a switch to climate-smart agriculture is the best way to guard against crop failure and poor yields.”

On changes farmers and transporters want

  • The government should fix access roads and provide adequate transportation that is cheap, effective and efficient.
  • An efficient rail system which will reduce the cost of transporting farm produce to the markets and improve food security.
  • Security remains paramount followed by access to land and irrigation infrastructure.
  • Financing and the availability of a sizeable storage where most of their farm products can be stored.

What you should know 

  • Founder and Chief Executive of Farmcrowdy Limited, Onyeka Akumah told Nairametrics that Nigeria loses N3.5 trillion to post-harvest loss every year due to the lack of proper storage facilities and the poor state of roads across the nation.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by a food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
  • The United Nations announced in 2020 that it will support Nigeria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the sum of $100 million to prevent possible famine, which it says is caused by insecurity, climate change, and poor economic environment.

Enugu Farmers Hail Ugwuanyi on Agriculture

Source: This Day

Farmers in Enugu State under the aegis of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) have commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his administration’s giant strides in the agricultural sector especially in ensuring food security in the state in spite of the daunting challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The farmers expressed delight at the support and achievements of Ugwuanyi’s administration in the sector, such as “the provision of seed inputs, infrastructure and mechanization for over 11,000 farmers under the FADAMA III Additional Finance; provision of basic input empowerment to over 700 commercial farmers and cooperatives all over the State through the Commercial Agricultural Development Programme (CADP) and the complete profiling and listing of 1700 farmers and farmers’ cooperatives under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livehood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), soon to commence Pre-disbursement training,” stressing that they are unparallel and worthy of commendation.

Speaking when they paid a courtesy visit to State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Matthew Idu, to felicitate with Ugwuanyi on the New Year, the Chairman of AFAN, Enugu State Chapter, Mr. Romanus .A. Ezeh, also applauded the state government for “the provision of intervention fund in support of Agricultural Development in Rice and Cassava production in 5 Local Government Areas in Enugu State.

Investing in Nigeria Agro-Sector by SunTwist – The Super Hero

Source: The Nation

Over the years, the Nigerian agricultural sector has drastically evolved due to improved investments from private, public, and individual investors.

The big question is why? And the answer is not far fetched from the fact Nigerians have realized the need to recall the Nation’s agricultural heritage and its resulting economic potentials.

As an investor, the need to make profit is key and this has given wind to the rise of agro-business communities or groups in Nigeria where in individuals or corporate entities have an indirect medium of milking good profits from the agricultural boom by simply funding agro-businesses.

Interestingly, the Nigerian agro-sector houses a vast number of value chains and untapped potentials that can be leveraged on to ensure food security in the economy, which inadvertently makes you not just an entrepreneur but a Superhero in these times.

Some of the benefits of investing in the Nigerian agricultural sector:

  • Improved financial plan:As an agro-investor,you are rest assured that your investment is growing as the need for food is.
  • Job creation: With a consistent increase in the number of crops grown and sold locally and internationally, the rate of unemployment in Nigeria can be drastically reduced thereby improving the standard of living of Nigerians.
  • Food security:affordablefoodis made available foreveryNigerian.
  • Economic growth and development: The agricultural sector appreciate indefinitely and largely contributes to Nigeria’s gross domestic profit.

Investing in agriculture is indirectly investing in people since human capital has become the most important factor in the wealth of nations. – Mr. AkinkunmiAkinboade – CEO Suntwist Nigeria

Now that you’re getting familiar with the superpowers of an agro-investor, you are probably thinking of the right way to start your agro-investment journey?

Look no further! You’ve just found your ‘Farm-ily’.

Suntwist Nigeria is a registered company in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission. As an agricultural business, we provide viable agro-investment opportunities perked with attractive returns that ranges between 30% – 70% per annum through large scale crop and animal farming.

To join our team of super-heroes, kindly visit our website https://suntwist.com.ng/ or reach our customer service on 08102777209 to answer all your questions!

Don’t forget to stay safe, protect yourself and your future.

You are the real Super-Hero.

Investing in Rice Production, Processing Business

Source: This Day

The Federal Government plans to make Nigeria self- sufficient in rice production. That is highly commendable. From research it has been proven that Nigeria rice is the best rice in the world as the taste and quality is far better than the imported ones from other parts of the world.

In Nigeria today, some states produce paddy rice in abundance. Some of these states are Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Kebbi, Imo, Kwara, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River State and some Northern States such as Sokoto to mention but few.

Therefore with serious efforts not only by Government but private companies and individuals, the self-sufficient policy is achievable.

Rice is now a staple food in Nigeria. Every household both rich and poor consumes a great quantity of rice every day. The demand for rice is very high. The huge demand for rice is further accentuated by increasing and expanding urbanization, endless social parties where rice is the main menu, Nigerians eating habits (preference for foreign rice).The preference for foreign rice should be stopped.

Of the total projected population figure of 200million, over 70% feed on rice.

Because of the demand, many Nigerians have embarked on importation of rice.

This situation should not be allowed to continue forever. These importers must channel their huge resources to establishment of modern milling plants in Nigeria instead of fastening the growth of some foreign countries.

From publications made by the Bureau of Statistics and Federal Ministry of Finance the importation figures of rice amounted to about one (1) Trillion of Naira as the end of 2012. This figure increased to over two (2) trillion Naira in 2016 and about three (3) trillion in 2018. The figure has always on an increase. Rice importation has the greatest figure of over 60% of total import figures.

The Federal Government of Nigeria had total closure of the neighbouring borders and it became clear indication that large quantities of foreign rice come into the country through the neighbouring ports. It became clear that there was huge importation of rice through illegal means. During this period of total ban and closure of borders, it became imperative that Nigerians can actually produce enough rice to sustain itself. Nigerians had survived and are gradually adapted to eating of local rice. Famers were happier, local processors of rice came back to life and they all make more money with less competition with imported products. However, the prices of rice, the staple food in the country rose on top of the roof. A common man can no longer afford the commodity, both locally produced and imported. Currently a bag of imported rice is as high as between N28, 000 and N30, 000 for a bag of 50kg; while the locally made rice is between N18, 000 and N20, 000. Government must therefore have to sustain the tempo of not allowing massive importation of rice into the country, but have a relaxed but full control of rice imports. It is not advisable to impose a total ban on importation of rice without first assessing and establishing exactly what the country can afford to produce; ensure that the country can produce at least 70% of what is needed in this country. There must be full record of what we can produce internally with projection of what our farmers can produce at full capacity.

Generally, encouraging local production or manufacturing, Agricultural production and processing is one of the good things that can happen to this country because the policy will generate more employment opportunities and put more foods in our tables.

The Federal Government has also concluded arrangements to roll out a new policy that will ensure that loans are available at single digit interest rate to farmers with effect from this year.

Corporate organizations such as Coscharis Group have gone into production, processing and bagging of rice. More individuals are being encouraged by the Government to invest into this sector. Here we discussed on how you can invest into rice processing and packaging business.

Investors can invest in rice farming and rice processing or rice milling plant. Rice milling project will best be sited in these areas where rice is grown in order to reduce cost of transportation of the paddy. To set up this project, a minimum space of a plot of land is required to dry paddy rice after harvesting.

The components of machines required to set up this project are cleaning facilities, Dehuller, Boiling tank, Polisher, Bagger and other miscellaneous equipment such as wheel barrows, weighing scales.

These machines can be fabricated locally. They can also be imported from Europe and some known Asian companies that specialize in the area. Prospective investors would be given details on these machine produces and specialists.
Also project vehicles and generating sets are essential for smooth running of this project.

Rice milling could be done on cottage, small, medium and large scale bases depending on availability of capital and the raw materials- paddy rice. Output could be from 2MT to 150MT per day. Generally one metric tonne of paddy rice yields about 60kg- 70kg of milled rice, depending on milling efficiency company management practice and the variety of rice purchased.

In the process of milling well parboiled rice free from sand, stones, unpleasant ordour with fewer breakages, a whole rice, broken rice and bran are obtained. Whole rice are packed and sold for human consumption. Broken rice is further milled into ‘’Tuwo Shinkafa’’ (a flour meal) while bran is very important input for manufacturing dietary products like rice bran bread which has been acclaimed good for the decrease of blood cholesterol, rice bran oil and livestock feeds. From rice you can also be obtained puffed rice, rice cakes, rice pudding etc.

The husks are used for the production of potassium Hydroxide solution or as fuel for milling plants. It can be seen that virtually all parts of paddy rice is useful.

The likely cost of total project will not actually be stated safely unless one knows the scope (whether cottage, small, medium or large scale) a proposed investors would like to embark upon. However, the cost ranges from N550, 000 – N10.2million for cottage level to N57million for medium size plant and over N500million for large scale. Basic factors to consider in determining the initial cost includes the capacity to produce, the source(s) of the machinery, whether to construct his own building or rent one, the location etc.

Therefore to embark upon this project, one needs a business plan (feasibility studies), with detailed costing for all the aspects of inputs, and before one can obtain the likely total estimated cost.

In conclusion, rice milling; an agro-based business is very profitable (45-55% return on investment), and sustainable. It has low capital requirement, technical know-how is not complicated. The machinery and equipment can be sourced locally. The project has a short pay–back period.

It is highly recommended for serious and aggressive promoters, local and state Governments and private investors particularly those that are thinking good for this country.