• Agriculture Overview
• Investment Opportunities
• Multinational/International Construction Companies
• Research, Training, Quality control & Standards
• Improved cultivation methods and techniques
• Private Sector Involvement
Nigeria and most of Africa is well endowed with climatic conditions and water resources capable of ensuring that the content is sufficient in agricultural products. There are few large scale farmers in Nigeria, most farmers are small scale subsistence farmers, without access to modern farming methods. Their farming techniques are largely inefficient and don’t always make best use of the natural resources they have been blessed with. Approximately 40% of Agric ultural produce is wasted due to lack of readilly available storage and processing plants. Inadequate transport also results in delays of products geting to market.
The challenge is to develop small and medium scale initiatives to transform this. Many Nigerians in the diaspora have the funds to ensure the development of farm settlements and medium projects across the nation that will be bale to transform the sector. They will also be able to outsource services to local farmers who will also learn and take advantage of these modern techniques Self-sufficiency via Ecowas or African common Agricultural Programme will result in Food Self sufficiency, Food Mountains and surpluses, ensuring that Africa can feed itself and have a strategic supply manage/minimise seasonal pricing and to cater for emergencies and natural disasters. The encouragement of Free & Fair trade is imperative as African Farmers are not competing on a fair playing field with the Europeans and Americans benefiting from bloated subsidy regimes. Local tractor manufacture and fabrication of harvesting machines and manufacture of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides will be key factor for the success of this plan. The encouragement of organic farming techniques and locally fabricated green houses for accelerated cultivation will also be critical to this plan. Each project must also have its own reservoir and irrigation and seedling multiplication processes to assist with all year production
Many in the diaspora are keen to invest within this sector not only as an economic business decision but to provide employment opportunities for many of their relatives and friends back at home
The Government sole custodians of land can provide Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) under an accelerated programme for the development of agricultural holdings of a minimum of 10 – 25 hectares virgin land. With a proviso that cultivation will commence within a prescribed time period, a contribution to the states agricultural development fund and the building of silos, reservoirs and employment opportunities/job experience for state employment initiatives. The agreement will also allow for the State Agricultural research institutes & universities to attach undergraduates to undertake research and practical experience. The positioning of Processing plants and development of farm houses on the farms may also be a perquisite for obtaining the land.
In Return for obtaining the land investors may also be compelled to assist local farmers within set parameters to improve their techniques or by assisting with other ancillary services such as irrigation, research improved seedlings etc. This will ensure greater cooperation and acceptability of local indigenes.
Benefits to the state: include increase in supply of agricultural products which will lead to a reduction in prices, taxes and employment and training opportunities to its citizens. The Opportunities for Processing, Distribution, storage and marketing of agricultural products is another benefit to the state.
Nigerians in the diaspora will invest in such schemes which have the state backing and will not require any funding from the state.
Please click the link for further information: http://www.nipc-nigeria.org/opportunities.html
A UK born Nigerian who wishes to remain anonymous in a patriotic an calculated business decision invested £20,000 on securing a 25 hectare farm project in Ondo State Nigeria via the states Agricultural Development Programme.(ADP) to plant Cassava as part of the governments efforts to encourage large scale production of starch a by product of Cassava
The Land was leased for a year at a cost N4, 000 per hector totalling N1million paid in cash to the ADP office, he engaged services of the ADP’s technical department to survey the land, plough, toil and ridge the farm. He also secured local suppliers for insecticide, pesticides to kill weeds and the cassava sticks to plant and local labour to weed, and maintain the farm
1.The Land was duly surveyed by the ADP’s staff to be 25 hectars and then was ploughed only to find out later that the staff only surveyed 7 hectares. Not being a surveyor the investor assumed that the vast area that is 7 hectares was just a fraction of the actual site he had paid for.
2.Those ploughing the land received money to plough 25 hectares but only ploughed 7 hectares. They were also in cahoots with local ADP staff. It was a whistle blower that revealed these facts
3.Those selling the cassava sticks were to supply 50 sticks per bundle then tried to receive this money whilst supplying an average of 20 sticks per bundle.
4.There were many other challenges over the year involving weeding and farm maintenance, pilfering etc.
All hurdles were overcome the services of an independent survey was engaged to accurately survey the 25 hectares and regular monitoring was pursued to the end of the project. Following Harvest of the cassava which was sold to a local flour mill the investor made a three fold return of approximately £60,000 on his initial investment. This shows how profitable Agriculture is in Nigeria, but it is also clear that due diligence must be undertaken, pay for your land via the banking system, also ensure that an independent competent surveyor with GPS locating, satellite imagery etc is appointed, if you are buying land it is better to buy direct from the government and ensure you use lawyers to verify legitimate ownership and ensure that you get proper title and Certificates of Occupancy.
You will also need to employ agricultural graduates and staff that have experience of cultivating the particular crops or livestock You will also need a good manager and to be on the ground from time to time to oversee the success of your venture.
The Institutes Aim for the Agriculture Sector:
a) Develop feasibility studies on cost & viability of Farm Projects.
b) Provide feasibility reports for developing Agricultural Machinery, Tools & Equipment Manufacture, Sales and Hire Companies.
c) Provide Feasibility Reports and adaptation of Research findings.
d) Provide Reports on Local Sourcing of Inputs: chemical free fertilizer, pest control.
e) Develop Reports on Irrigation, Storage, processing, distribution & export.
f) Develop policies to encourage medium and large scale investors from the Diaspora
g) Develop Reports for companies and individuals wishing to invest in upstream & down stream businesses in the Agricultural Sector.