As insecurity worsens, affects most farming households and uncertainty about food security comes to the fore, a leading Nigerian agribusiness enterprise, Green Eagles Agribusiness Solutions Limited, has launched models of a farm estate investment initiative, demonstrating how such could ensure food security, export, economic diversification and sustainable wealth for every stakeholder.
Promoters of farm estates also said that research has shown that agribusiness alone has the potential to contribute up to N402 trillion to the nation’s GDP if key industrialisation and innovations are brought to play at a national scale.
The initiative is designed to enhance profitability for stakeholders across agricultural value chains, as well as facilitate easy and profitable entry for smallholders into agriculture.
The Chief Executive Officer of the farm estate, Taiwo Oluwadahushola, said: “Food security has become a more serious issue than ever, and as a nation, we must bridge the local deficit in the production of critical food and cash crops to avert a major food crisis.”
In rice, Nigeria is deficient in production by at least 3.1 million metric tonnes yearly. Maize, wheat, palm oil and soy beans, among several others, are also under-produced, making the country heavily dependent on imports and smuggled products.
However, Oluwadahushola is optimistic that project would help to creatively restructure the nation’s agribusiness space to achieve the goal of shoring up the nation’s food production, sufficiency and GDP.
He said: “In achieving this goal, we will facilitate the establishment of integrated farm estates in 774 local government areas across the federation to drive a rapid increase in crops and livestock, which is produced round-the-year at significantly lower production costs, until we achieve equilibrium of demand and supply at consistently lower prices,” he added.
The Managing Director, Adebola Adetayo, said: “The GreenWealth Project will provide sustainable livelihoods for millions of rural dwellers and unemployed youths as well as sustainable returns for sponsors, while stirring up unprecedented economic prosperity in and around rural communities.”
She added that the first phase of the project would be geared towards the goal of national food security, while the second phase would facilitate the achievement of export prominence in crops where we have agro-ecological advantage.
“Our projections show we can assure an annual return 30 per cent to sponsors, that is 15% every six months. At the end of each investment cycle, a sponsor may request for a roll over or principal repayment,” she added.
Dr Emmanuel Ijiwere, a director of the company, emphasised that it’s high time Nigerians took action and made agriculture a major source of livelihood at all levels while ensuring food security in Nigeria and Africa.
Cottage processing industries within the integrated farm estates would add significant value to farm products upon harvests and provide efficient application of waste-to-wealth integration of crops and livestock, the advocates said.
“The cottage industries will enjoy nearness to materials and farmers will enjoy direct access to the whole value chain, including guaranteed markets and exports.
Integrated farm estates of at least 1000 hectares each will be established in each of the 774 LGAs across Nigeria. Farmers will be organised into co-operative structures, trained and sponsored to achieve the Project objectives,” he said.