SMEDAN Agribusiness Initiative, Boost To SMEs

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Agribusiness is the business sector surrounding farming and farming-related commercial activities. 

The business involves all the steps required to send an agricultural good to market: production, processing/packaging and distribution. 

It is an important component of the economy in countries with arable land, since agricultural products can be exported for foreign exchange. 

Expanding the term “Agribusiness” is an aspect of agriculture comprising of production, manufacture and distribution of farm inputs, equipment and supplies at one hand and the processing, storage and distribution of farm commodities on the other hand. 

This implies that the entire agricultural production, processing, distribution and consumption range from farm input supplies inclusive of wood producers, furniture manufacturers, food processors, food packers, food transporters and food marketing companies to restaurants and shopping malls. 

It covers input industries for agricultural production, post-farm gate industries; including the commodity-processing, food manufacturing and distribution industries and third party firms that facilitate agribusiness operations. 

In other words, agribusiness is the sum total of all the operations involved in the manufacture and distribution of farm supplies, production operations on the farms, storage-processing-distribution off-farm commodities and other items made from them. 

It is used as a combination of agriculture and business referring to the range of activities in modern food operations (Igbokwuwe et al., 2014). That is to say you can be a player in agribusiness subsector without owning a farm (Within the value chain) 

As agribusiness plays a critical role in jump-economic transformation through development and growth of agro-based industries, successful agribusiness investments stimulates agricultural growth by providing new markets and developing a vibrant input supply system to all sectors. 

Nigerian Agribusiness has faced several challenges as a result has made it so unattractive for youths to participate in, such as Financial challenges in terms of start off capital or for expansion, Capacity building, Information assessment, Regulatory agencies policies , cost and time of processing documents such as NAFDAC number. But with the introduction of department of Agribusiness in SMEDAN there are now solutions to the challenges faced by agribusiness SMEs in Nigeria. 

The latest is the CBN intervention called AGSMEIS; Agri-business, Small, Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme. 

“It is an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee established at the 331st meeting held in Feb. 9, 2019. 

Objectives Of The Scheme Are To: 

•Ensure access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as these enterprises are the engine of the growth of the Nigerian economy. 

•Generate much needed employment opportunities in Nigeria 

•Develop agricultural value chain and ensure sustainable agricultural practices 

The four stakeholders involved in the process are; CBN, Borrowers, Participating Financial institutions, and the Entrepreneurship Development Institute. 

For those who do not have requisite training in managing the business, they need to get this done, and it is provided by the EDI which sends your business plan to CBN. 

The CBN in turn sends the business plan, request for equipment (and other supporting documents) to the Participating Financial Institutions for valuation. 

Once this is done, it goes back to the CBN, where they in turn do their own evaluation and it goes back to the PFI, subsequent to which funds can be released to the entrepreneur. 

SMEDAN should mandate the Entrepreneurship Development Institute to create more awareness for more people to participate in the training which is the first step in accessing the N 10 million loan. 

To sustainably develop agricultural business in Nigeria and make it an alternation source of income to the nation private sector is critical in the development of opportunities in the desired value chain component for our agricultural products, It is the private sector that drives the process and government role is to create conducive environment through sustainable policies , with SMEDAN interest in agribusiness economic diversification initiative is becoming a reality because of their Synergy with other government agencies and private organisations. 

Book For Entrepreneurial Training For Agsmeis N10 Million CBN Loan (Abuja,Kaduna,Lagos And Enugu)

Read Original Report Here By Independent

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