The Managing Director of NIRSAL Plc, Mr Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed, has reiterated that “the single biggest challenge in developing agriculture has been getting the smallholder farmer to see agriculture as an enterprise, not as a subsistence way of life.”
This observation was made at the Agribusiness Africa Conference organised by Farmer’s Weekly in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Speaking further, Mr Abdulhameed noted that with over 180 million people, Nigeria provided a large market to back agribusiness but like the rest of Africa, Nigeria’s agricultural production system is largely driven by Smallholder farmers who do not see agriculture as a business.
Based on this reality, he admonished that Africa must find a way of financing and be working with the smallholder farmers who constitute about 75% of the agricultural production population.
As a private sector-minded organization, he declared, NIRSAL speaks the language of finance in terms of investments and risk management as it synergises all the elements of the agricultural value chain and helps to facilitate the inflow of investments.
“We provide guarantees up front and undertake the heavy task of fixing the entire value chain. The most important thing is that we want outcomes that work for farmers and we want them to create wealth for themselves and the community,” he explained.
The Agribusiness Africa Conference is an annual event that draws Agric stakeholders from around Africa to share experiences, exchange ideas and forge partnerships for the growth of the industry in the continent.