Investors at a plenary session on Edo Agro-industrial Revolution and Agribusiness Transformation, have submitted that the government must open up space for small holder farmers.
This is to ensure the provision of sufficient fund and intensify efforts to remove investment bottlenecks if it is to attract more investments in agribusiness.
This submission was made at the Alaghodaro Investment Summit, Benin City, Edo State.
The Chairman, PRESCO Plc, Mr, Felix Nwabuko said: “Agriculture is still bedevilled by a myriad of challenges, such as lack of access to finance, land acquisition, infrastructure, community clashes amongst others. All of these have a serious impact on agribusiness,”.
He added that there is the need to encourage businesses to produce competitively.
Rasheed Sarumi of SARO Agro Services added that his company was working towards actualizing Edo state’s vision to create jobs and engage youths through agriculture.
Sarumi said: “We are using market-led approach to agriculture in Edo State. The arrangement is that we would buy what the people produce and we are to provide them with inputs and training.”
The outgrowers (youths) will through this arrangement, own a 5-hectare farm and plant maize on it and thereafter, employ 50 other persons.
Although, Sarumi said SARO Agro Services initially had the challenge of non-application of youths whom the programme was meant for.
Dufil’s representative, Adhi Narto, said the company has been in Nigeria for 20 years and that their investment in Edo State is three times more than what they made worldwide.
He added that it is their vision to make Edo State a hub for our investments in Nigeria.
The President of Association of Edo Farmers, Chief Emmanuel Odigie, said farmers in Edo state face a lot of challenges and has urged the Federal and State governments to work in synergy to address such issues.
The governor has also assured that he will make Edo State a leading agribusiness hub in Nigeria by initiating strategies that will enhance agricultural development, create jobs and guarantee food security.