The federal government has launched Nigeria Agribusiness Resource Center; the first agriculture-oriented information hub in the country; to enhance information flow for business and increase investments in the sector.
The resource center was commissioned in the Agribusiness and Market Development Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Utako area, Abuja by the Permanent Secretary, Bukar Hassan, who represented the Minister, Audu Ogbeh.
Present to witness the occasion were top executives of AfricaLead and United States Agency for International Development (USAID); partners to the project. Also in attendance were officials from Department for International Development (DFID), National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and farmers involved in ginger, cashew, sesame, cocoa, fish and potato production.
In his address, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Hassan affirmed that the project is in line with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and will promote agricultural investments in the country.
He further stated that the project will solve the challenge of inadequate information often encountered by agripreneurs and investors willing to do business or already engaged in various agribusinesses in the country.
Meanwhile, Regional Director, West-Africa of AfricaLead, Carla Denizard, speaking exclusively with AgroNigeria, mentioned that AfricaLead supported the federal government in financing the establishment of both the physical structure of the agribusiness resource center as well as its online platform.
“AfricaLead will place a young professional advisor in the center who will work full-time to assist the agribusiness development team of FMARD. The organisation also looks forward to offering seminars on agribusiness and entrepreneurship as well as a boot-camp course to sustain agripreneurship in the country” she added.
The Director, MDF West-Africa and Technical Advisor to AfricaLead, Richard Yeboah assured that the Nigeria Agribusiness Resource Centre would be a one-stop information hub for all seeking information on Nigeria’s agriculture value chain.
“The center, which is equipped with advanced computer systems, high-speed internet, training materials and updated reports would help link agripreneurs with investors and development partners. A lot of information on Nigeria’s value chain exist but are scattered. This resource center has corrected this challenge with proper organisation of data and will provide accurate information on enquiries like how to start an agribusiness or how to export agriculture produce.” he said.
The Nigeria Agribusiness Resource Center is designed to strengthen the country’s agricultural value chain with reliable information on investment opportunities as the federal government foresees the commissioning of more centers across the nation soon.