Nigeria is one of the largest emerging economies in the world and the largest economy in Africa. The country is also on track to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world.
However, Nigeria’s subsistence agricultural sector and continued importation of what she could naturally produce have not kept pace with economic vision. The country has had several Agricultural policies from the 1970’s to date, characterized by political instability and policy inconsistency as well as lack of political will to sincerely implement these policies.
Worse still, all the agricultural programs depend wholly on official funding crippled by official corruption. Adequate consideration and policy incentives have not been given to the private sector’s corporate investment in Nigeria’s most endowed sector-agriculture.
Given Nigeria’s population, poverty affects about 45% of the population, in contrast with huge wastages and vast untapped resource potentials resulting to resource curse. The economy suffers basic deficiencies including unreliable power supply, decaying infrastructure and corruption which are impediments to private enterprise development.
There are difficulties in assessing credit facilities for investment in agriculture. Others are land grabbing, small scale production and lack of awareness of inherent potential in the industry. Above all, the agricultural industry which Nigeria has comparative advantage, is yet to be properly listed in the Nigeria’s Stock Exchange (NSE).
Understanding this fact, Agriant, an Integrated Farm, Agro-allied and Food Processing company with Head Office in Lagos has chosen to bridge the gap of agricultural lacuna in Nigeria. The company is one of the Nigeria’s leading food and agro-allied companies.
It has deep interest in Aquaculture with over 150,000 natural pond capacity, which is presently at 70% occupancy (Catfish & Tilapia), Oil Palm, Maize & Pineapple Plantations as well as Animal husbandry.
Agriant is a subsidiary of BrookHeritage Holdings, a proprietary company, coordinating business interests in Finance, Energy, Real Estate and Agriculture with a strong determination to succeed in all facets of its business endeavour. So also aims to create opportunities and transform lives.
Speaking on this development, Femi Olukotun, the Group CEO who presently leads the team at BrookHeritage Holdings Limited, a holding structure with investment interest in Real Estate Development and construction works, Agriculture/Food processing said; “Agriant is an integrated farm and food processing company with a deep interest in plantation, processing of produce, animal husbandry as well as commodity trading.”
According to him, “we are a customer-focused organization that go-all-out to achieve excellent service delivery via the production of quality products and services in all facets of our business.”
“our objective is to give agriculture a new meaning by developing for each node of the Agricultural value chain in the agronomy ecosystem we choose to play, through the use of modern technology from the point of rearing and cultivation through processing and distribution of finished goods for consumption.” He added.
While speaking on the importance of animal husbandry to the economy, Femi disclosed that, production of animal source foods contributes to economic development by generating income and employment for livestock keepers and actors along livestock value chains.
According to him, in Africa and Asia, their production cannot be analyzed without considering the other functions of livestock: livestock are an asset, a store of wealth for resilience and a factor of production in mixed farms, noting that, that is Agriant is bringing to bear in Nigeria.
Also, he pointed out that, “local livestock production increases the availability of animal source foods as a source of proteins and micronutrients, necessary for a healthy population. Livestock provide a pathway to women empowerment and gender equality, which are important factors for economic development.”
For Femi, the food and income benefits provided by inland capture fisheries and aquaculture can afford opportunities for empowering individuals where opportunities in other sectors are limited. Inland fishes are important food and nutritional resources, especially rural economies in developing countries like Nigeria.
He stressed that, “sustainable, productive fisheries and aquaculture improve food and nutrition security, increase income and improve livelihoods, promote economic growth and protect our environment and natural resources and that’s what stands us out in Agriant.”
“our farms are located Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States. Our dried catfish and fish filets are certified by NAFDAC and beyond sales into local market we also export our products to Europe.
On this note, it’s a known fact that, agricultural sector plays a strategic role in the process of economic development of a country. In fact, it has already made a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of advanced countries and its role in the economic development of less developed countries is of vital importance.
Analysts believed that increase in agricultural production and the rise in the per-capita income of the rural community, together with the industrialization and urbanization, lead to an increased demand in industrial production
The history of England is clear evidence that Agricultural Revolution preceded the Industrial Revolution there. In U.S.A. and Japan, also agricultural development has helped to a greater extent in the process of their industrialisation. Similarly, various under-developed countries of the world engaged in the process of economic development have by now learnt the limitations of putting over-emphasis on industrialisation as a means to attain higher per capita real income.
It is seen that increased agricultural output and productivity tend to contribute substantially to an overall economic development of a country, it will be rational and appropriate to place greater emphasis on further development of the agricultural sector.
Thus, industrial and agricultural developments are not alternatives but are complementary and are mutually supporting with respect to both inputs and outputs. Agriant is, indeed setting the pace in Nigeria’s agricultural landscape.