Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FARD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the weekend launched an $8,066,500 Nigerian Agribusiness Supplier Development Project (NASDP), aimed at guaranteeing food security for the country.
The project seeks to by eliminate the existing supply chain bottlenecks, particularly in the rice and cassava value chains, through improved linkage between production and processing actors.
Speaking at an NASDP signing ceremony in Abuja, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhammed, said his agency’s primary mandate was to fix the broken agricultural value chain thereby facilitating the flow of finance and investment to the agricultural sector. Under the terms of the collaboration, NIRSAL, he revealed, will be contributing $1,558,500, which is 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 for 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”, Abdulhammed explained.
He said the project will directly impact over 10,000 smallholder farmers, and over 50,000 lives annually and consolidate capacity of processors across Nigeria through a better and structured logistics arrangement with primary producers.
The NIRSAL boss maintained that the UNDP’s intention under the project is to promote economic growth through local capacity building and robust Public Private Partnership to generate opportunities for income generation.
“The aim is to ultimately support gender responsive and inclusive policies that will stimulate and expand domestic and foreign trade for global competitiveness.
“The NASDP will thus focus on women empowerment and youth in Agribusiness through support to women’s cooperatives and youth enterprises. The inclusive business acceleration model will also be deployed towards these groups. It is important to emphasise that the inclusive business model will aim at providing quality basic products and services within the low-income communities.
This will harness endogenous resources and opportunities for value addition. It will also build local capacities for managing harvest seasons with a long-term view of achieving sustained growth of commodity markets and price stabilisation” he added.