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AGRICULTURE

NIRSAL, UNDP, FMARD Set To Implement Agribusiness Supplier Devt Project

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The Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are set to jointly implement the Nigerian Agribusiness Supplier Development Project (NASDP).

The NASDP project focuses on eliminating supply chain bottlenecks in the rice and cassava value chains through improved linkage between productions and processing actors.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the joint venture in Abuja on Friday, managing director and chief executive officer, NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu  Abdulhameed said the project is aimed at improving the supply of agricultural products by farmers particularly in the rice and cassava value chains and the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) with timely deliveries, reduced transportation, inventory costs and improved access to growing markets that are provided by structured  off-takers.

The implementation will also secure and provide off-takers, efficient and high-quality local agricultural raw materials as well as contribute to the development of African economies through increased job creation, Foreign Direct Investment and enhanced government income through taxation by developing Agricultural products that can substitute imports and create access to export market;

He also said that part of the objective of the project is to support the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG), especially food security and poverty reduction, through job creation and income generation.

He said: “NIRSAL’s primary mandate is to fix the broken Agricultural Value Chain thereby facilitating the flow of Finance and Investment to the agricultural sector. This partnership with the NASDP will support the development of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Nigeria. NASDP will be a critical vehicle to support the development of these two commodities, rice and cassava.’’

Under the terms of the collaboration, NIRSAL will be contributing a total of $1,558,500, approximately 20 per cent of the entire funding requirement of $8,066,500 to implement the project. Out of NIRSAL’s contribution, the sum of $558,500 will be utilized under NIRSAL’s Technical Assistance Pillar for capacity building of the beneficiaries, while $1,000,000 is non-expendable credit that can be applied under the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and other Financing interventions.

The target beneficiary groups, according to NIRSAL helmsman, include small holder farmers and women, while the target market will include off- takers and agro-dealers who provide inputs into the Agricultural Value Chains.

‘‘This will enhance the prospect for increased farmer yields and quality. Implementation will focus on areas of comparative advantage for rice and cassava. Where we have critical mass of these commodity Value Chain players, this will generate expected impact by creating socio-economic benefits to Small Holder Farmers in rural communities,’’ he said.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Hassan Bukar  in his address said the ministry, in order to facilitate the attainment of the objectives of the project, have put up an institutional framework to promote agribusinesses and investment while working with key stakeholders viz donor Agencies, Financial Institutions and the organized private sector, to build an agribusiness economy that would be sustainable in the area of food security, job creation, exports and for inclusive growth.



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