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April 17, 2024

‘Agriculture Can Lift Nigeria Out of Economic Crisis’ – NABG

The Director-General of the Nigerian Agribusiness Group, NABG, Jafar Umar, said that agriculture would serve as a major player in lifting Nigeria out of its economic crisis. 

Umar disclosed this during a press briefing on Agro Commodities in Abuja yesterday, while he was addressing newsmen ahead of the “Agro Commodities Standard Grading System National Validation” program coming up next week in Abuja.

The organization’s commitment, Umar said, is to represent the interests of agribusinesses across Nigeria. 

According to him, the NABG’s ongoing efforts in collaborating with various stakeholders, including public, private, and donor institutions, were to enhance the business environment for agribusinesses.

Notable among these partnerships is the collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

His words: “We represent the voices of agribusinesses in Nigeria. The NABG has been involved in several activities to improve the landscape and over the years we have been making strategic partnerships with several public, private and donor institutions where we share the same goal of improving the business environment for agribusinesses and ensuring that smallholder farmers and other value chain actors receive fair value for their efforts and products that are being produced.

“One such partnership that we have is with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where we are currently implementing a project titled: ‘Advocacy for Small Scale Producers.’

“This project is very instrumental in supporting the NABG to advocate for the voices of smallholder farmers and other value chain actors within the agricultural space.

“The ultimate aim of this exercise is to ensure that all farmers and various value chain actors receive fair value for their efforts.

As highlighted by other speakers, it is extremely unfair that you put in all you time, effort and resources to produce certain commodities only for it to be priced the same way with someone who hasn’t done the same thing.

“We as NABG recognise that gap and now more than ever with the food security challenge we are facing with the dwindling incomes and challenges with foreign exchange, this policy framework is critical at this juncture.

“And the NABG is proud to be working with all these partners who have contributed immensely in developing this policy framework and we are happy that the national validation will take place next week here in Abuja.

“The NABG with partners will continue in this trajectory, identifying policy gaps and supporting the implementation of already existing policies and at the same time also looking towards the modification of policies that may no longer be responsive to the agribusiness community.

“We believe that agriculture is the key saviour of the Nigerian economy and we will take concrete and proactive steps, work with any stakeholder that is willing to do the same to ensure we get Nigeria, our farmers and all our investors within the agric space and otherwise to that promised land.”

In his own remarks, the DG/CEO, NiNAS, Celestine Okanya, explained that the NABG is focused on ensuring that agribusiness people and small holder farmers get the best out of their investment.

“So this effort is being done to ensure that when a farmer goes through all the stress of farming and harvesting, and he follows a particular grading system, he will sell the best price that can be offered for the best quality according to the grade that he has produced,” he added.

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