To overcome the obstacles that are preventing the seeds and grains value chain from achieving full investment viability, the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending is leading a diverse and high-level group of local and international experts to seek efficient and sustainable solutions.
To achieve the objective, the corporation is hosting the Stakeholders Round-table Discussion on Seed and Grain Processing Technology for Nigeria at its headquarters in Abuja.
Among the participants at the event are top officials of PETKUS GmBH, a German and world leading post-harvest management company with a 166-year history in manufacturing of custom-made post-harvest solutions across the world; the Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and the President, Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN).
The focus of the strategic session was on the key challenges limiting the financial viability of the Cereal and Legume value chains in Nigeria which occur at the Seed Input and Grain Output stages.
A priority of the session is to seek solutions to the phenomenon of farmers who are trained in the use of certified hybrid seeds recording low viability and germination rates, low or average productivity and up to 30% postharvest losses.
These negative factors contribute significantly to Nigeria’s annual US$9billion worth of postharvest losses which, in turn, have led to lower capacity to service the consumer, industrial and export grain markets, lower returns to the farmer, inability to fulfil financial obligations or repay loans, sustained poverty and impoverishment.
The central focus of the event which is organic to NIRSAL’s core mandate of making agriculture attractive to the financial sector is to confront these challenges in a way that significantly reduces the current aversion of financial institutions to lend to this important value chain.
The event is built on the robust NIRSAL-PETKUS Partnership which has been working to address the identified issues.
Participants discussed globally successful models and tailored models that will help to re-write the story of Nigeria’s agriculture and leapfrog the nation into the league of the successful Agriculture and Agribusiness economies in the world.
The projection is that the Roundtable will produce an action plan to lead to the integration of the seed value chain, the joint development of a business model and financing framework and other outcomes.
Speaking on the genesis of the event, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhammed recalled that “the history of today’s event dates back to August 2018 when NIRSAL signed a partnership agreement with PETKUS in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany during the latter’s visit to Nigeria.”
Abdulhameed further explained that: “Besides signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petkus, NIRSAL has performed background assessments and field reality checks on the Petkus solutions through observations not only in Germany but also in Burkina Faso, an African nation where Petkus solutions have been piloted with 1,000 smallholder Seed farmers in one (1) district with current scale up to 13 geographical districts.
Petkus, in a similar manner, gained insights to the workings of the local Nigerian primary production systems testing the quality and viability of sample certified seeds and witnessing the huge post-harvest losses and absence of basic value addition technologies in Jigawa, Kano and Taraba States.”
The expertise of the German firm includes:
- High precision seed processing equipment and technology solutions to address issues of poor separation of dead, broken and non-viable seeds and issues of heterogeneous seed sizes which pose significant problems for mechanized planting. This solution has potentials to bring about significant yield increase for smallholder farmers from 2 tons/ha to 3-5 tons/ha and as well open up local Seed companies to the international Seed Market.
- High precision grain cleaning to capture best value, eliminating moisture content, aflatoxin contamination and other infestation at point of harvest. This value addition at smallholder level guarantees better prices and access to industrial and export markets for farmers (such as in the case of Sesame)
In the bigger picture, NIRSAL is also looking to leverage technologies from Germany to tackle primary production and harvest, primary processing, primary transportation and primary storage challenges, which we call the PH-P3. These will no doubt deal the final blow to post-harvest and value addition challenges in Nigeria.