From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment are collaborating to address the protracted challenges of poor transport, logistics and storage facilities which are largely responsible for the post-harvest losses of local farmers, estimated at $12 billion annually by the World Bank.
NIRSAL is leading an advocacy for the operationalisation of a Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport & Storage Corridor (SATS-C), which is expected to not only to combat post-harvest losses, but create jobs and boost the contribution of the agriculture sector to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Speaking at a SATS-C meeting in Abuja on Thursday, NIRSAL Managing Director Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed noted that the Ministry’s commitment to SATS-C exudes hope, adding that the policy, when fully operational, could directly lead to a 5% increase in the agriculture sector’s contribution to national GDP by halving the annual post-harvest losses of $12 billion.
Further benefits, he noted, lie in the lowering of food prices, creation of 125,600 direct and indirect jobs, and the heightened possibility of adhering to standards for improved access to export, industrial and consumer markets.
Abdulhameed expressed confidence that SATS-C would complement and perfect one of NIRSAL’s business models/concepts known as PH-P3 (Primary Production & Harvest, Primary Processing, Primary Transportation and Primary Storage) which ensures efficient production in the farms and optimum capture of value at harvest by enabling prompt evacuation of produce from farm-gates, and the subsequent haulage of commodities across the country through designated corridors.
SATS-C’s envisaged enabling of seamless movement of produce from production zones, to processing zones to markets, Abdulhameed believes, would invariably upgrade agro-logistic value chains, flush blockages and usher in an era of increased flow of finance and investments into and through agricultural value chains.
‘For this reason, NIRSAL is reaching out to enabler institutions, driving necessary dialogues and championing advocacy to support the FMITI in the development and implementation of the SATS-C policy in Nigeria,’ he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, said that the SATS-C policy framework was a hydra-headed systemic intervention that will facilitate a holistic structuring of nodal service platforms to support seamless Route-to-Market operation for agricultural commodities.
‘It is expected to facilitate the movement of goods from the primary source through a safe secure channel to three critical points: domestic consumer; Industries; and export market,’ he said.
SATS-C is currently a policy document being prepared for executive consideration by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) who are at the stakeholder identification and engagement stage.
The Ministry hosted a breakfast meeting recently and had in attendance four other federal ministries like Agriculture, Finance, Transport and Works. As advocates of an agriculture sector with efficient production, transportation and storage systems, NIRSAL Plc was also represented at the meeting by an executive-level delegation.