The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, has launched a digital agribusiness hub, known as I-Produce, to link young farmers with international investors and markets.
The digital hub was created by Inara Foundation and funded by the Islamic Development Bank.
The minister at the launch in Abuja recently said the federal government fully understood the importance of digital platforms like I-Produce adding that this was why it established the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Innovation Portal to ensure that MSMEs have access to a wider market and can be matched with customers and clients.
He said, “Navigating international trade can be a daunting experience for small businesses and I am pleased that the I-Produce platform will provide opportunities for businesses to learn more about capitalizing on opportunities under AfCFTA and understanding cross-border trading ”
The minister said that his ministry remained committed to ensuring that the country thrived in the international business arena.
He said, “We expect to conclude the development of a world-class investment policy that reflects Sustainable Development Goals (SGDS), climate concerns, the advent of AfCFTA and position Nigeria as Africa’s premier investment destination.”
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inara Foundation, Mrs. Aisha Wazir Umar, said iProduce is a virtual agribusiness ecosystem for entrepreneurs, investors, input suppliers, logistics companies, and financial service providers.
Umar, who is a lawyer and humanitarian worker in the North East of Nigeria, said the hub would guide young Nigerians on how to create home grown internationally oriented companies through training, links to deals, standardisation, and access to international markets.
She said the hub will focus on four key agribusiness areas including livestock; fruits and vegetables; cotton and garment as well as essential oils.
She said the advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) poses a huge challenge, which the digital hub would help young agrientraprenuers to navigate through technical assistance, training on sanitary and phytosanitary standards, non-tariff barriers focusing on the African markets as well as market linkages through digital channels.