MSMESToday, the nation’s reliable online news platform for the agribusiness sector held the Agribusiness, Food Security and Nutrition Summit at Victoria Crown Plaza, Lagos recently. The summit witnessed the presence of dignities and participants in the Nigerian agricultural sector and its value – chain. Among the dignitaries were Ezra Yakusak, CEO, Nigerian ExportPromotion Council who was represented by Samuel Oyeyipo, Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Wale Fasanya, Director- General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) represented by Friday Okpara, Director, Partnership and Coordination, SMEDAN and Rotimi Fashola, Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Agriculture who was also represented.
In his goodwill message, Ezra Yakusak stated “the entire management and staff of NEPC wish to identify with your vision at this occasion and assure you that the Council shall continue to partner with the private sector especially on issues related to the development and promotion of non-oil exports from Nigeria to all countries of the world.”
This year’s event was made possible with the support of Bank of Industry (BOI), Fidelity Bank Plc and other strategic partners such as Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA) and All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Association of Nigerian Exporters (ANE), National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), among others.
The key aim of the summit was to discuss what concerted actions, policies, synergies, partnerships and collaborations were required to actualize the nation’s food and nutrition security plan in other to put the agribusiness sector on a speed pedestal to create the needed impact towards Agric value chain development, the realization of our export potentials, increase in foreign exchange earning capacity; food security and the nutrition needs of the nation.
To achieve the objectives, the summit organisers focused on three major planks, namely: advancing agriculture production and processing to meet the export needs of the nation, Can Nigeria meet the nutrition needs of the populace and attracting investments and funding to the agribusiness sector: prospects, challenges and solutions.
Akintoye Alawode, who represented Mohammed Adama, Partner /Lead, Agribusiness, KPMG presented the keynote for the first session sub – themed, ‘Advancing Agriculture Production and Processing to meet the Food Security and Export needs of the Nation’, and was followed by a panel discussion with Prince Joseph Idiong, Director- General, ANE, member, Governing Board, NEPC and Chairman Export Promotion Committee, NEPC; Ruth Agbo, President Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture represented by Tonia Amakwe, Head AWITA, Lagos, Jude Elile, CEO, Earnwise Development Company Limited and Lateef Sanni, Head, Abuja Station, IITAand Lanre Babalola of the Food Processing Group of Bank of Industry featuring as panelists.
Similarly, Ifeoluwa Olorunipa of Sahel Consulting, who represented Ndidi Nwuneli, CEO, Aace Foods, presented the keynote for session two with the sub – theme: ‘Can Nigeria Meet the Nutrition need of the Populace? Milestones, Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions. In her presentation, she revealed that 19.4 million Nigerian across 21 states including Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are projected to be in critical phases of food and nutrition insecurity between June and August 2022. This was followed by a panel session whose main task was to proffer solution to the challenges of nutrition the populace face in Nigeria. Some of the panelists included, Daniel Abah, Program Manager, Technoserve, Ifeoluwa Olorunipa, Mr.Jude Elile, CEO, Earnwise Development Company Limited and Prof. Lateef Sanni, Head Abuja Station, IITA,
The last session with the theme ‘Attracting Investment, Agribusiness Financing: Key Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions was handled by Dr. Kenneth Opara, Executive Director, Lagos/South-West, Fidelity Bank Plc represented by the DGM/ Head, Export and Agric division of the bank. In his presentation, he pointed out some investment opportunities for agribusiness in areas like shared storage facilities and cold chain infrastructure, in production optimization and yield improvement, as well as in the area of advocacy and business improvement technique among others. The panel session included, Ife Oluwa Olorunipa, Daniel Abah, Program Manager, Technoserve, Jude Elile, CEO, Earnwise Development Company Limited and Prof. Lateef Sanni, Head Abuja Station, IITA and Lanre Babalola of the Food Processing Group of the Bank of Industry.