Agricultural entrepreneurs in the country have appealed to the Federal Government to help them add value to their agricultural products for them to penetrate world market.
Speaking at a training programme on post-harvest activities for farmers in the North East geopolitical zone held at ARMTI campus, Ilorin, Kwara State, chief executive officer of Peach Farm Investment Limited, Mr. Bisi Aboyeji, said most farmers lack financial power to process agricultural products for export.
“Government should add value to our product, for instance, cashew. Most of these Western nations like America, Canada and Europe need cashew but they don’t allow importation of raw nuts. They want the processed ones. If the government can come in and establish processing plant to process the kernels, we can penetrate most markets in America, India, and Europe
“We educate farmers during agric extention, but it is unfortunate that most of them are desperately in need of money. They don’t have patience to take good care of most of these commodities and that is why we are producing substandard products that give exporter extra labour.”
“Most times, when we buy we need to go and recondition and we wasted a lot of time on that and most of these things are supposed to have been handled right from the farm by allowing those that needed enough fermentation to be fermented very well, those that needed drying to dry properly and they should use the right method of packaging so that there would be little or less labour for the exporters to carry out in their warehouse.
“I believe by the time we play by the rules everything will work well for us in Nigeria because we are blessed. We have a lot of things that those foreigners need”, he said.
Agripreneur also lamented alleged encroachment of farms by foreigners, saying that the development had destroyed value chain.
“You see most of our farms being penetrated by the foreigners. That is encroachment of our farms. So, our law enforcement agents with the help of the government should discourage it because they are destroying the value chain. Most of the foreigners penetrate our farms interacting with our farmers which we cannot do in their land.