The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) through its iProduce Africa, an agribusiness hub, says it is striving to boost the operations and export capabilities of Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Agri-Entrepreneurs as they seek to take advantage of the government’s Zero-Oil Plan.
The Chief Executive Officer of iProduce Africa, Mrs Aisha Waziri-Umar, in a statement said iProduce Africa, backed by the IsDB, will train Nigerian-owned agribusinesses and SMEs, especially young Agri-Entrepreneurs, on the requisite technical skills to equip them on how to export their produce thereby integrating them into global food value chains.
She stated that iProduce will also train the SMEs and Agri-Entrepreneurs on how to access finance, including non-interest funding, for their export activities, said in a press statement.
Mrs Waziri noted that Agribusiness exports present a significant opportunity for job creation to absorb the youth bulge and improve the livelihoods of young people who make up the majority of the population.
“We are forming partnerships with the relevant government ministries and agencies and I’m confident that iProduce will play a vital role in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“Since August, 2021, when it was formally launched by the Honourable Minister of Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo, iProduce Africa has trained about 500 farmers on various areas of agribusiness including livestock, fruits and vegetables, garments, among others. It has held several training workshops since inception,” she said.
Mrs Waziri-Umar added that iProduce Africa plans to train at least 1,000 Agri-Entrepreneurs in 2022 and back them with the relevant agribusiness advisory services.
The iProduce Africa Agribusiness Hub is an initiative of Inara Foundation, a non-profit organization established to address development challenges in Nigeria.