Nigerian government to set up 10 new rice mills across the country

 

According to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), the federal government’s clear interest in agricultural sector development has indeed yielded result, in which the government has approved the setting up of 10 new rice mills across the country as one of its strategy in improving agriculture through the value chain.

In Kebbi alone, under the anchor borrower scheme, FG had injected N60bn from 2015 to date and currently, there are many newly established small rice mills with not less than N2bn capital in Kebbi. Due to the effort of the government to unlock the vast potentials of the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, the German Government, with support from the Bill and Mellinda Gates Foundation provided 2m Euros for implementation of the second phase of the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) in the country.

 

The first phase of CARI ended in 2015, and CARI 2 is being implemented in Kebbi, Kaduna and Jigawa states to achieve its objective through the use of the Multi-Action Partnership (MAP).

The project would be focused on business linkages in the rice sector to ensure that the producers were well connected with the markets, processors, rice millers, aggravators and input dealers. The aim is to help smallholder farmers to increase their income and the country with high-quality rice.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria set-up the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set up the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee (TRIC) to revive at least 50 textile companies across the country by 2023, the committee would have the responsibility of resuscitating the country’s cotton belt, identify textile clusters, improve cotton production nationwide and boost power supply to textile firms across the clusters as Nigeria loses over $2bn annually to textile smuggling.

The CBN would partner with the Nigerian Customs Service to curb smuggling of textile goods; ensure general reduction of cost of doing business by eliminating multiple taxation; as well as ensure zero per cent duty for machineries needed by the textile industry and CBN has engaged 100,000 cotton farmers to cultivate 100,000 hectares of cotton for the 2019 season.

To revive the country’s cotton, textile and garment industry that would boost the local economy and create millions of jobs. Nigeria remains a big market for the textile industry but currently, the Nigeria cotton/textile industry is the third largest in Africa, next only to Egypt and South Africa, to reclaim this industry from smugglers the government should be ready to fight economic saboteurs because the Nigerian market has been flooded with imported textiles for many years.

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Why Tech giants like Google and Microsoft are investing in Africa

 

What if you could tell what was wrong with your plant by simply hovering your smart phone over it? Well, farmers in Africa now can. Thanks to one of Google’s many products, TensorFlow, rural farmers on the continent can diagnose diseased plants by taking a photo of it.

TensorFlow came with the launch of Google’s artificialintelligence (AI) center in Accra, Ghana’s capital city earlier this year.

The center, one of the multinational tech company’s many investments in Africa, is comprised of researchers and engineers from around the continent building resources to solve various African problems through AI.

Just as Google is using technology to create tools that address Africa’s growing needs, Microsoft continues to invest in growing tech talents on the continent.

Last week, the company launched its Africa Development Centre (ADC) with two initial sites in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. Read more via https://lnkd.in/dtZpaab

Mark-Anthony Johnson, CEO at JIC Holdings.

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Nigeria is lagging behind in the agricultural sector

I do agree with Senator Shehu Sani, that the Governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, should shift attention to partnering with other states in the production of ginger, beans, yam and other agricultural products rather than asking the federal government to encourage the cultivation of medicinal cannabis.

Last year, Omoyele Sowore also advocates for the production of marijuana, he even said Nigeria will export marijuana if he gets elected as president of Nigeria. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Omoyele Sowore believed that some countries are generating billions from the plant while Nigeria is lagging behind, but they failed to realize that Nigeria is lagging behind generally in the agriculture industry, not just on cannabis.

In the 1950s and 1960s and in 1970 Ondo was among the major states that produce cocoa and then cocoa production was a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria but not anymore. Côte D’Ivoire supplies 30% of the world’s total cocoa. Nestle and Cadbury receive much of their cocoa from the Ivory Coast while Nigeria is lagging behind.

Indonesia and Malaysia are making billions from Palm Oil while Nigeria is lagging behind even the CBN Governor asking the Federal Government to attach premiums to palm oil production because its price is higher than crude oil’s. Ondo State government can invest massively in palm oil production, being that Oil Palm is one of the state’s agro raw materials rather than the production of marijuana.

 

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Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to face restructuring and recapitalisation within 90 days

 

The Bank of Agriculture, formerly known as the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) was incorporated as Nigerian Agricultural Bank (NAB) in 1973 and in 1978, was renamed Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (NACB). Subsequently, in 2000 the government merged the activities of NACB, People’s Bank and Family Economic Advancement Programme to form the Nigerian Agriculture, Cooperative and Rural Development Bank. Prior to the merger, All three entities engaged in micro-financing and in 2013 it was renamed Bank of Agriculture (BOA).

Bank of Agriculture is the Nigeria apex agricultural and rural development finance institution and it’s government-owned (CBN 40% and Ministry of Finance 60%), and supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture but the government want to restructure and recapitalise the bank within the period of 90 days beginning from April 16 to give it a new face and make it attractive for investment.

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, the government will retain only a minority share of the bank, while farmers and cooperatives will be the majority of stakeholders. It will be a farmers’ bank, to provide basic financial services to farmers in both rural and urban areas and create employment opportunities for the people.

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Farmcrowdy has raised additional seed funding of US$1 million as it prepares to broaden its offering

Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s first and leading digital agriculture platform which allows Nigerians to invest in agriculture, today announced that it has closed on additional seed funding of $1 million. This follows on from the company’s initial investments of $1 million in 2017. International investors Cox Enterprises and Techstars, along with local investor Ajayi Solutions have participated in the round as the startup prepares for an upcoming Series A fundraise later in 2019.

Farmcrowdy will use the investment to continue building their award-winning model, whilst expanding across Nigeria to cover 50% of all 36 states in the country over the next 12 months.

Today, the company has also announced the launch of the Farmcrowdy Group, which will support the startup’s mandate of building agritech solutions that enable the achievement of food security on the continent of Africa.

Pioneers of digital agriculture in Nigeria since 2016 and with a team of 50, Farmcrowdy has empowered over 12,000 farmers across 14 states in the Nigeria, reared close to 2,000,000 broiler birds as part of its poultry farm cycles and cultivated over 16,000 acres of farmland with over 35,000 farm units sold to date. With farm sponsors in Nigeria and across the diaspora, Farmcrowdy is effectively growing a community model that is set to continue the empowerment of local farmers and facilitate food production in Nigeria and eventually across Africa.

Onyeka Akumah, Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy says “Today’s announcement of this additional funding, marks another milestone for us as we amplify our presence in the country and explore new opportunities. We are delving into the possibility of utilising drone services for field analysis, improving our farmers yield with additional research and 3D mapping, as well as entering into formidable strategic partnerships that will grow the impact of our work. We’re continually grateful that we have a group of investors who share and support our vision as much as we do. It is a great source of motivation for the entire team as we look to the next phase of growth as a company.”

In a bid to improve the management of Farmcrowdy’s farmers and farm operations, the startup has also launched the Farmcrowdy TFS App, available to its Technical Field Specialists that will aid in better profiling farmers, managing inventory, as well as data collection and analysis from existing farmers.

According to Cody Simms, a Partner at Techstars who did a follow-on investment in this round of funding after their previous investment, said, “Techstars has been deeply impressed by Farmcrowdy’s mission to end poverty in Africa one farmer at a time since we first invested in the company in 2017 as part of Techstars Atlanta in partnership with Cox Enterprises. We are excited about the continued growth of the Farmcrowdy platform and thrilled to continue our support of the business with the most recent financing.”

For almost two and a half years, Farmcrowdy continues to inspire a renewed interest in farming across generations. In order to better serve the startup’s existing farm sponsors and attract new sponsors to the platform, the startup is in the process of upgrading the Farmcrowdy app to optimise user experience which currently has 90,000+ users and farm followers.

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