AFOS-NIG INGO, a German non-governmental organisation providing technical support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and agribusiness owners in Nigeria, has charged farmers, agribusiness owners and microfinance banks in the country to adopt global best practices towards improving their earnings and contributing more to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The NGO’s advice was informed by the experiences of the leaders when they led 17-member Nigeria agribusiness stakeholders on a 9-day visit to meet with institutions and chambers of commerce responsible for the German Vocational Education and Training (VET) and entrepreneurial financing.
Speaking on the meetings with agribusinesses and top German institutions and chambers of commerce in the field experiences of the Nigerian team during the visit, the AFOS Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer and Country Representative, Mr Oladipupo Akoni, said the delegation visited the German Investment Cooperation (DEG), some farms, including the Fachschule für Agrarwirtschaft (College of Agricultural Economics) in Cologne, to acquire technical and operational insights into the structures responsible for their success in creating economic stability.
According to him, during the visit to the DEG, the delegation was excited to learn from its senior advisor, about the model that the institution adopts in providing in-depth market knowledge, impact and climate expertise to private companies operating in developing and emerging countries, focusing on direct loans and equity investment as well as investing in local banks and financiers to stimulate lending to SMEs at local levels.
On the key lessons for Nigerian farmers, Akoni said: “In Nigeria, the microfinance and agricultural sectors face significant capacity development challenges that undermine the sectors’ potential impact.
“With the lessons of the delegation during this exposure trip, we are urging all relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian agricultural sector to take positive actions that will guide the policymakers in the sector in the right direction with a view to improving its benefits for farmers, MFBs, agribusiness owners and the overall economy,” he advised.
During the visit to the College of Agricultural Economics, the Managing Director and Head Mistress of the college, Anna Maister, provided a brief insight into the farming system in the district which has over 1.4 million hectares of agricultural land, 30,000 farms with about 190,000 employees, amongst other arable land assets.
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