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FG to Engage 6,000 Youths in Agribusiness

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  • FG to Engage 6,000 Youths in Agribusiness

The Federal Government and the World Bank under the FADAMA III Project have approved a new programme initiative under the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme known as FADAMA GUYSS, with the aim of engaging about 6,000 youths in agricultural enterprises.

The Fadama National Project Coordinator (NPC), Mr. Tayo Adewunmi disclosed this in Akure, Ondo State capital during the meeting with the Ondo State Federated Fadama Community Association (FFCA), which was attended by various stakeholders under the scheme.

Adewunmi said under the scheme, about 300 youths from ages 18 to 35 years would be encouraged to go into agriculture as a profession and business in about 20 states. He said in subsequent programmes, between 500 and 1,000 youths would be accommodated under the scheme.

“The programme, named GUYSS, is to encourage youths from the ages of 18 to 35 and maximum of 40 years to go into agriculture as a profession and business. By study, real farmers are aging away, some dead and old. To start with, 15 to 20 states, including Ondo, will be among the first phase of 200 to 300 youths per state.

“By end of June, starter packs should be given to the youths based on different enterprise of interest like aquaculture, or poultry. My coming to Ondo State is at the right time because we have a lot to anchor this year for our youths in the country”, he said.

The FADAMA National Project Coordinator said a good number of youths can be taken away from social vices and restiveness through agriculture, adding that there is a plan for Sunshine rice in Ondo State before the end of the year.

“We want to make sure that the rice we are producing, we bring it out publicly, and give it a name and brand. What the World Bank wants us to do is to test-run the project in about 10 states, but we were able to convince our minister and the World Bank country director to allow us to do it at least in 20 states. The project design is to give money or equipment to allow them start business on different agricultural enterprises on their own.”

The NPC said the programme would engage 200 to 300 youths in each state for a start, adding that 500 to 1000 youths would be engaged in subsequent programmes. He called on the youths to endeavour to register their names online this week when the programmes are broadcast on radio, television and other media outfits.

Adewumi also noted that the federal and state governments were working on modalities to continue to create awareness and sensitisation for both farmers and the herdsmen to live in peace across the country.

Speaking earlier, the Ondo State FFCA Chairman, Mr. Akin Olotu appreciated the NPC of the FADAMA Project for its landmark achievement across the nooks and crannies of the nation.

Olotu noted that efforts by the FFCA to secure a friendly credit portfolio for members to revive their projects have not been easy and had become a great source of discouragement to the members.

According to him, FFCA was able to secure some hectares of land from the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority for use by members for cluster farming but were constrained because of lack of tractors.

“We only have 13 tractors in whole of the state and the tractors are not in good condition and we have been told that it will take over N1million to repair them”, he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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Shut Down Depots Selling Petrol Above Approved Price – Marketers

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Shut Down Depots Selling Petrol Above Approved Price – Marketers

The Federal Government should close down depots that are selling petrol above the approved price, oil marketers said on Thursday.

National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Sanusi Fari, said the sale of petrol above government approved price by depot owners would soon lead to a hike in the commodity’s pump price.

Fari told journalists in Abuja that the government through its agencies such as the Department of State Services and the Department of Petroleum Resources should curb the development to avoid crisis in the downstream oil sector.

He said some private depot owners were selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers, way above the government stipulated price of N148 per litre.

Fari said, “Our challenge is the inconsistency in the pricing of petrol. Up till a week ago, government was still insisting that the February price for petrol remained unchanged.

“And most of the private depot owners are selling above the government stipulated price. As at today ( February 25, 2021) private depot owners are selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers.”

He added, “In the last six years, only NNPC imports refined products into this country and these tank farms buy their products from NNPC under a controlled price.

“This has affected our businesses seriously because government is insisting that we sell at the rate of N165, which is not going to work.”

The IPMAN president said filling station owners buy the product at N165 per litre from the private depots and incur other expenses such as transportation, rent, etc.

“So government cannot expect us to sell less than what we buy,” he said.

Fari added, “This is why we are calling on government and agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to control petrol pricing to urgently clamp down on depots that are selling above the stipulated price.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s sole importer of patrol, recently stated that it never hiked the cost of petrol to depots.

It also enjoined the depot owners to sell the product at the approved rate and called on the DPR to enforce the stipulated price across the depots.

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Nigeria Will Benefit Less From African Trade Deal – NESG

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Nigeria Will Benefit Less From African Trade Deal – NESG

Nigeria and other resource-based countries will benefit less from the African Continental Free Trade Area than economies that are more diversified, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has said.

The NESG, a private sector-led think-tank, said in its 2021 Macroeconomic Outlook that Nigeria could reap more gains through export diversification away from crude oil.

It said trade in Africa remained dominated by raw materials and less processed products, adding that on average, minerals and agriculture accounted for 44 per cent and 16 per cent of intra-African trade respectively between 2007 and 2017.

The NESG said, “Evidence has shown that African economies that are more diversified and have improved transport infrastructure, would benefit more from the trade pact than others that are resource-based and agricultural dependent.

“Putting this in context, South Africa currently accounts for 40 per cent of intra-African manufacturing imports. On the other hand, resource-based countries, such as, Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria – which collectively account for approximately 50 per cent of Africa’s GDP – contribute only 11 per cent to intra-African trade.”

“Another bone of contention is the issue of ‘rules of origin’, which constitutes a significant risk factor. This implies that protectionism practices by some countries could constitute a setback for the establishment of the ambitious single market for Africa. But there are several reasons to be optimistic,” it added.

The group said the World Bank estimates revealed that the AfCFTA would promote manufacturing exports over natural resources, agricultural and services exports, and that manufacturing exports would account for one-third of the projected total exports of $2.5tn by 2035.

It said, “Nigeria could reap more gains through export diversification away from crude oil, as manufacturing exports currently account for an average of nine per cent of the country’s total exports.

“This suggests that efforts should be directed at strengthening domestic value chains, particularly the agro-allied industrial base.

“To achieve this, there is a need to attract private capital, most especially, FDI, that would allow for knowledge and technological transfers.”

According to the NESG, for Nigeria to maximally benefit from the trade deal, there is an urgent need to also address transport infrastructure bottlenecks and provide improved logistics.

It said, “Finding a lasting solution to the Apapa gridlock by creating similar ports in other regions of the country, so as to ensure speedy clearance of consignments needs to be prioritised.

“Nigeria also needs to set standards for locally-made goods to enhance their attractiveness in the regional market.

“The Nigerian government as a matter of urgency needs to operate an efficient and corruption-free land border system, so as to guide against the importation of low-cost sub-standard products into the country.

“It is only when these and many more reforms are implemented that Nigeria can begin to reap the benefits of the trade deal.”

The group noted that owing to the outbreak of COVID-19, the implementation of the AfCFTA was postponed from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

It said, “The key goal of the free trade pact is to expand the volume of intra-African trade, which stood at 16 per cent in 2018 .“Till date, 36 countries, including Nigeria, have ratified the agreement. The trade deal is expected to create a single market with a combined GDP of $2.5tn and total population or market size of 1.2 billion.”

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