The OCP Africa has signed a cooperation agreement with the Bank of Agriculture and Novus Agro on its Agribooster initiative to support efforts of smallholder farmers and ensure food security in the country.
The tripartite agreement, signed in Lagos is a farmer-centered market-funding model aimed at supporting small-scale farmers to access good quality inputs, financial services, enhanced market linkages, and training and extension services centered on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
Iseyin in Oyo State has been selected for the pilot scheme, with a target of 1,000 farmers, with a focus on maize plantation, meant to enhance the productivity of the farmers and provision of end-to-end solutions to challenges facing farmers.
OCP’s Country Manager, Caleb Usoh disclosed at the launch that the initiative is a market development project aimed at bringing players in the value-chain to access fund and other supports to boost their productivity.
“Nigerian farmers are doing great things but they need more support. Agribooster has been with OCP for three years since we started in Kaduna and it has expanded to other states. What we do is that our partners come with supports like fund, input, training and many more.
“With BoA, the issue of financing is solved because BoA is structured and this initiative is strategic for them to achieve their aim. It also comes with financing, training, and extension service. We are working with organisations that will cascade this knowledge to the farmers, to apply the best agronomy practices to their farms.”
In his speech, Executive Director, Wholesale Banking, South of BoA, Olabode Abikoye, who disclosed that the partnership with OCP is a larger part of the larger relationship, said the Federal Government and the kingdom of Morocco are working extensively with Bank of Agriculture in Morocco.
“What we are deriving from this is to get expertise and support from their government. The relationship has gone far and we are happy with this collaboration as we are staring with Iseyin.”
While speaking on the choice of Iseyin, Abikoye said the rural community is a derived savannah area with good ecological belt and good vegetation, likened to Taraba State.
Chief Executive Officer, Novus Agro, Chike Nwagwu, who disclosed that with the initiative, 6,000 metric tonnes of maize is expected to be harvested, said aside the credit facilities, input provision and other supports, they will also off-take the harvested produce from the farmers, in order to address the issue of marketing.
“We have always worked with smallholder farmers and one of the things we do is to link farmers to the market. The greatest thing is that we are talking an end-to-end solution to what farmers’ face, like challenges of sourcing for fun, input and market.
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