The yam export initiative of the Nigerian government will not only lead to increase in foreign exchange earnings, but will drastically reduce glut often experienced by farmers.
The President, National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) Farmers’ Cooperatives, Dr Adams Olu-Adebayo stated this during a press conference in Ikeja on the forthcoming NASME Business Round table6 on Thursday next week.
Dr Olu-Adebayo who noted that NASME farmers cooperative would encourage its members to leverage on the opportunity, added that the body had also secured about 150 hectares of land at Itoikin-Epe from the Lagos State Government for rice cultivation.
Processing of Produce
He added that the NASME farmers’ cooperatives had started processing some farm produce in order to improve their shelf-life, noting that the group would also explore ways to process excess agric products into organic manure to assist farmers in the area of productivity.
“Turning the yams into export to avoid wastage and realizing foreign exchange from it is a plus for us, also in rice production; as members of NASME, we will soon have our own rice, our intention is to produce rice and mill it, we have secured about 150 hectares of land from the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture’s Fadama initiative to achieve this and as a result, we have created jobs for people in Epe as we speak,” Dr Olu-Adebayo reiterated.
Areas to explore
The Lagos State Chairman of NASME, Mr Solomon Aderoju, while shedding light on the yam export opportunities, highlighted the areas that could be explored such as operations, processing (farming), marketing as well as export and derivatives.
According to Mr Aderoju, “even though Lagos is not a yam planting state, but there are areas where members can be encouraged to leverage and take advantage of especially in the areas of export and processing.”
The NASME Chairman stressed that the forthcoming Business Round table with the theme ‘Reflating the economy through MSME’S Support, would be used to address issues affecting Small and Medium Enterprises, which he described as the only way to diversify the Nigerian economy.
“During the Business Roundtable Conference coming up on Thursday 13th of July, 2017; we want to really look at how we can support the MSMEs of this world because we know that it is only MSME that can be used to diversify this economy, the Keynote Speaker is the number one banker in Nigeria, Professor Olusegun Ajibola who is the President, Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria,” Mr Aderoju said.
He added that various stakeholders, business gurus and especially regulatory agencies would be at the roundtable conference for serious brainstorming sessions that would chart the way forward for the nation’s economy.
“NASME, Lagos State chapter, is set to collaborate with Banks, regulatory agencies, government and other stakeholders to discuss ways of moving SME’s to drive the Economy of the country,” he said.
General Secretary of the Chapter, Mr Mike Ukeje while lending his voice on the forthcoming event, affirmed that the conference would also be used to critically examine the latest yam export drive of the Nigerian government so that NASME members can be properly sensitised.
Mr Ukeje said other issues such as taxation and bank interests would be on the front burner as the issues had been of great challenges for small enterprises.
NASME Vice Chairman, Mrs Victoria Oluwasanya shed light on the cardinal objectives of NASME which include capacity building, access to funding, access to market and technology.