Agriculture is an essential part of the Nigerian economy; it is concerned with the husbandry of crops and animals for food and other purposes, providing employment for about 30% of the population. It is also the foundation upon which the development of stable human communities, such as rural and urban communities, has depended on in many parts of the world sadly it remains underutilized in Nigeria.
According to Co-Chief Executive Officer, Cellulant Corporation, Bolaji Akinboro, ‘’Agriculture is enough to create wealth for Nigerians but needs to be properly structured for its potentials to be fully realized.’’
The Agritech Icon said this on Wednesday(December 18, 2019) at Cellulant’s inaugural partners’ summit themed ‘Technology For Transformation: Connecting Everyone to Nigeria’s $50bn Agribusiness Opportunity & Creating Jobs For Africa’s Youth’ held in Lagos.
In his presentation titled ‘From Farm to Fork: Transforming the Agribusiness in Nigeria Through Technology-What does the Future Hold’, the co-founder of the pan-African technology company explained that the country’s Agric-value chain needed to be fixed to enjoy the immense riches in the sector.
Mr. Bolaji disclosed that consumption of food, the end product of most agricultural activities in the country is worth about $100million daily and between$36 billion to $50 billion annually, opening up a stream of opportunity in under-explored areas of Agric logistics, food processing, and tailored payment systems.
He also highlighted Cellulant’s strides in improving the agriculture value chain with its payment platform, Tingg and Agrikore, an innovative platform built on blockchain technology that has simplified and connected all players in the agriculture sector.
Akinboro said: “We are not just a fintech company; we have the technology and operations via Agrikore. When you combine technology and operations, you can change the world. We are providing technology that makes life better for everyone; Nigerians and Africans. We are the ones that can bring in the change.’’
“Technology is a critical enabler to solve many of the challenges experienced in the Agric sector. In the last 15 years, Cellulant has actively contributed to connecting all key stakeholders in the value chain, who in the past never interacted with each other. Today, the business has built a marketplace and payments platform that provides access to markets, digital financial services, and opens opportunities for all stakeholders to collaborate better and capture the $50b market opportunity.”
Also speaking at the occasion attended by critical stakeholders in the agribusiness ecosystem including farmers, aggregators and retailers, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank, Adebisi Adebise, reiterated the importance of cooperation between everyone in the Agric value chain.
Mr. Adebisi who identified problems of the Agric sector to include low level of budgetary allocation, low financial literacy, a large percentage of unbanked population and limited capacity of financial institution to understand the value-chain, said the bank would continue to partner Cellulant to improve agriculture.
He disclosed that the bank now has a two-billion-naira facility for players in the Agric sector at concessionary rates.
Agriculture is a crucial economic sector accounting for about 23 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the value chain is highly underdeveloped. The country loses 32 percent of crops produced annually due to a broken value chain and wastage.
The Cellulant summit was attended by development partners including African Development Bank, Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) and DFID amongst others.