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FUNDING TOMMOROW’S AGRICULTIURE TODAY-STERLING WEBINAR

June 19, 2020

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The webinar tagged ‘Funding Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today’ organized by Sterling Bank was held on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020. The session had in attendance notable value chain players in the Agricultural sector who gave different insights into the potentials of the sector and how it could be rightly funded to meet the growing demand in the economy. The session was moderated by Mr. Ayodeji Balogun, Country Manager/CEO AFEX Nigeria. Panelists at the event included Yemi Odubiyi- ED, Sterling Bank, Dr. Adebisi Araba, MD, AGRF, Stanley Munyao – CEO, Musoni, Bukola Awosanya – GH, Agric finance and Solid Minerals, Sterling Bank, Mezuo Nwuneli, Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers, and Caleb Usoh- Country Manager, OCP(Nigeria).

Overview of the Agricultural sector:
• The Agriculture sector is not just critical to food security but also necessary for national security serving as a source of foreign exchange revenue, and provision of job employment.
• There is a global $2.5 trillion debt gap needed in funding the agricultural sector out of which the fund gap in Africa’s agricultural sector accounts for about $1.3 trillion.
• As of 2019, only 4% of total funds in the commercial banks was allocated to the agricultural sector in Nigeria
• Globally, over $140 Billion has gone to blended finance, out of which 14% of the funds have been into agriculture. Africa accounts for $2billion of the fund, and Nigeria accounts for only $630 million of the blended fund.
• Access to finance is a single factor that has seen to improve production in Kenya.
• Agriculture in Nigeria would grow if it is Public sector enabled and private sector innovated.
Funding is a big solution for enhancing agriculture. However, it is not the only solution. Alternative solutions could be developing other necessary value-added services.

General Outlook:
• Agriculture in the future must be market-driven. It will be difficult to attract the right funding without a well-structured market-based approach.
• The expediency of having an interconnected market in Africa; where the producers, suppliers, buyers, and interconnected globally have few gaps in the market and hopefully less dependent on imports.
• The demand for agricultural products and value-added products will continue to grow while leveraging technology to deliver products and services.
• Brick and mortar might not be the best way to serve smallholder farmers, however, it might be necessary to go digital.
• The number of smallholder farmers shall increase with a proportionate increase in the business case for the agric. space primarily among smallholder farmers.
• It is predicted that by 2023, Nigeria shall be self-sufficient in phosphate production.

Click the link below to download the communique.

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