Businesses with services or products supporting agribusinesses in the specified areas of farming in each of the participating states can receive support from the World Bank Assisted Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP).
This was stated by Isuwa Danfulani of the National CADP at a training on fish smoking technology initiated by Lagos State CADP for fish farmers, processors, marketers at the Ojo Military Cantonment, Lagos.
Danfulani, who represented the national project co-ordinator, Amin Babandi, said CADP was conceived as a result of the agricultural development challenges ranging from technology, marketing, access to information, finance, etc. He said: “The World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and some states decided to address that through the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP).”
The project, currently running in five states of the federation including Lagos, had impacted greatly on farming but billions of naira was still unspent, he said, saying “the project is five years, but we have gone four years and so much money is yet unspent. The World Bank, the national office, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Finance find this unacceptable and want to make the agricultural value chains more attractive, every activity along the value chain can become attractive – farming, processing, marketing, etc.”
He cited the example of high cost of feeds that had become a major constraint to fish farmers and indeed poultry farmers, saying CADP was ready to give support to feed extrusion and milling businesses. He pointed out that the establishment of bigger processing feed mills, which has the potential of reducing feed prices, could attract more people to agriculture, and urged businesses to seek to add value to agriculture, avail themselves of technologies available in research institutes, such as Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) and other collaborating agencies interested in advancing agriculture.
Commending the Lagos CADP for the collaboration with FIIRO in training fish farmers, processors and marketers on fish smoking technology, he said, “The national project coo-rdinator would be happy to see you adopt the technology.”
Olawunmi Funsho, the senior special adviser to Lagos State governor on agriculture, also urged investors in agriculture to position themselves along the value chain, explaining that not all would be involved in farming or primary production but could provide support services to farmers, which would all lead to boost in agricultural productivity.
“Think agribusiness, you don’t have to produce, attend programmes, network, pick information and use this information to its advantage. Define where you are along the value chain, make up your mind about what you want to do or else you would keep drifting and shifting,” he stated.
He said further that “we complain of glut because we do not have well structured agribusinesses. The Lagos Business School would be running courses on – Agribusiness Management Programme. These participants will not necessarily be farmers but would be taught the nitty gritty of the market, you can use your skills to complement production, your business can just help people who are into primary production.”
He therefore urged the farmers to add value to the fish they produce and brand so as to make them suitable for export.
Reeling out the various interventions of the state government, he said, “there are now so many interventions that can assist any form of agriculture – up stream, midstream or downstream,” and urged agribusiness investors to seek information widely as there were many opportunities.
“Catfish is not the only fish farming available. The technology for farming of Tilapia and other fish species is now available. Tilapia produces faster than catfish, think of poly culturing, big ponds culture, think of a stream, though the technology is not yet well improved here. But think of where you have the market tomorrow, our shores have been overfished and we need to start culturing other fish species as well, apart from catfish.”