The Agric and Agro-Allied Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Sunday identified lack of funds as a major challenge facing agro processing companies growth in Nigeria.
The group’s Chairman, Mr Adeola Elliott, made the assertion in an interview with journalists in Lagos.
According to him, besides funds, there are the issues of electricity, access roads and water supply among others.
“This is the situation because the nation’s economy has so far succeeded in placing money into the hands of a few individuals.
“The major agro processing companies are doing well because they have access to huge funds as well as international backing.
“This is not the case with small agro processing companies and they are many scattered all around the federation,’’ he said.
“Apart from funds, there is no training and the research institutes that are supposed to be providing such training are not living up to expectations.
“The small individuals who are in agro processing are trying but their best is still not good enough because of the funds at their disposal,’’ he said.
Elliott said that it costs about N50 million to set up a small agro processing factory.
He added that individuals also provided electricity, mount poles in their premises to connect to the national grid and construct access roads to their factories as well as provide water.
Elliott said the processor also had to face the cost of providing diesel daily to run electricity generator.
According to him, if agro processing is doing well the sector will be better as there will be reduction in post harvest loses of farm produce and farmers will be better off financially.
He said that government at all levels should make deliberate effort to provide infrastructure support to drive agro processing in the country. (NAN)