Agriculture is enough to create wealth for Nigerians – Cellulant CEO
An Agriculture entrepreneur, Mr Bolaji Akinboro, says agriculture is enough to create wealth for Nigerians but needs to be properly structured for its potential to be fully realised.
Akinboro, an Agritech Icon and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Cellulant Corporation, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
He lauded the viability of the Nigerian agricultural sector and called for improved value chain and agro-technology.
The Agritech expert revealed the immense potential of the Nigerian sector in a paper “From Farm to Fork: Transforming the Agribusiness in Nigeria through Technology-What does the Future Hold’’.
NAN reports that the paper was delivered at Cellulant’s Inaugural Partners’ Summit themed ‘Technology for Transformation: Connecting Everyone to Nigeria’s $50 billion Agribusiness Opportunity & Creating Jobs for Africa’s Youths’ recently held in Lagos.
“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 per cent of the population.
“The consumption of food, the end product of most agricultural activities in the country is worth about $100 million daily and between $36 billion and $50 billion annually.
“This has opened up a stream of opportunity in under-explored areas of agricultural logistics, food processing and tailored payment systems,” Akinboro said.
He also spoke on his company’s role in improving agric value chain by infusing the needed technology into the sector, while he called for more support from stakeholders.
“Technology is a critical enabler to solve many of the challenges experienced in the agricultural 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.
“Through our payment platforms, Tingg and Agrikore, an innovative platform built on block chain technology, we have simplified and connected all players in the agriculture sector.
“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,” Akinboro said.
Also speaking on potential of the sector, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank, Mr Adebisi Adebise, reiterated the importance of cooperation between everyone in the agricultural value chain.
“The problems of the agricultural sector include low level of budgetary allocation, financial literacy, large percentage of unbanked population and limited capacity of financial institution to understand the value chain.
“Agriculture is a crucial economic sector accounting for about 23 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but the value chain is highly underdeveloped.
“The country loses 32 per cent of crops produced annually due to a broken value chain and wastage. Our bank now has a two-billion-naira facility for players in the agricultural sector at concessionary rates,’’ he said.