The Nigeria Stock Exchange in partnership with the Corporate Farmers International today hosted the maiden Financing Agric Commodity Value Chain seminar in Lagos.
It was an opportunity for stakeholders in the agric sector to explore how the ecosystem, can be developed further to boost Nigeria’s economy.
Despite vast arable land and a massive population, Africa’s largest economy has experienced challenges in harnessing the agro-sector to become a key driver of the economy.
The seminar had a rich faculty of Mr Akinsola Akeredolu-Ale , CEO Lagos Commodities Exchange, Mr Abimbola Babalola, Head Market Surveillance, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Mr Oladele Akinjo, Head Advisory and Market Services, Emerging Africa and Mr Oludare Odusanya, Product Manager, Business Incubation Platform of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
Speaking on “Understanding the Agricultural Commodity Value Chain” Mr Akinsola Akeredolu-Ale listed several areas that has to be addressed, to unlock the opportunities for Nigeria to be a key player in the global Agric market, namely;
- Investing in a robust warehousing, logistics and distribution system for the agric sector
- Focusing on certification of agro products that meet global standards
- Giving top priority to the export of processed agro products, which will give the nation more value
- Stakeholders should adopt shared services and avoid the silos approach in the agric space
- Land reforms will be key to the development of the sector
- The need for Nigeria to come up with the right agro products that it can supply to African countries and other parts of the globe
Mr Ale decried the fact that at the African level, Agriculture was receiving less than 5% of lending from financial institutions despite employing 60% of the population.
He said the estimated value for the Nigerian agric sector in 2016 was about $85bn, which can be grown up to $400-500bn through futures trading.
According to him “Nigeria must aim to access finance to grow its Agricultural commodity value chain”.
Mr Oladele Akinjo from Emerging Africa Capital in his presentation, made a strong case for increased financing in the agriculture sector.
For this to be achieved he believed structures have to be in place, while the issue of infrastructure has to be addressed.
The Head, Market Surveillance of the Nigeria stock exchange Mr Abimbola Babalola shared with the participants that Ellah Lakes, Livestock , Okomu Oil Palm and Presco were agro-based companies listed in the exchange.
Babalola noted that stakeholders in the agric sector who will like to access the capital market, must do the following;·
- Be clear about their Objective funding needs
- Provide Achievable fund utilization plans
- Work with good market professional parties/ advsiers
- Automate process of disclosing material information to the market
- Build and sustain shareholders trust
- Be concerned with secondary market reactions
- Avoid De-emphasizing post listing requirements (regulatory disclosures and compliance)
Mr Oludare Odusanya the Production Manager, Agriserve Business Incubation Platform of the IITA also shared how the Institute was helping to grow the African Agribusiness sector and the trends in Agric Industrialization.
The event had as anchors the co-founders of the Corporate Farmers International Prince Ade Ajayi and Mr Akin Alabi.