The Meet the Farmers Conference (MTFC) aimed at exposing Nigeria agricultural exporters into the opportunities inherent in the Dubai agricultural market has ended in Lagos with the organizers lamenting the existing gaps between Nigeria and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The conference organized by Crenov8 Consulting brought together Nigerian farmers, exporters and other stakeholders in the agro-export value chain.
Business Lead, Crenov8 Consulting, Bola Oyedele, said the firm based in Dubai, determined to fill the gap between Nigeria and Dubai agricultural markets, had created a platform to link the African agricultural producers with the off-takers in the Middle East and beyond to effectively translate business deals, saying, “Agricultural products are central to Nigeria’s export industry.”
“It is discouraging to visit supermarkets in the UAE and have little or no representation of the nutrient-packed produce that come from the rich soils of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general,” she said.
According to her, Agriculture contributes significantly to national food self -sufficiency by accounting for over 90% of total food consumption requirements.
She noted this helps to maintain a healthy and peaceful population and also a source of food and nutrition for households.
Oyedele said, “Furthermore, the ultimate objective of interest of economists in productivity should be to find ways of increasing output per unit of input and attaining desirable inter-firm, intra-firm and inter sector transfers of population resources thereby providing the means of raising the standard of living.
“Consequently, Nigeria being an acknowledged agricultural country as evidenced by the facts including its contribution to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) naturally, fits snugly into our model; that is our reason for being here with you this morning in order to have a useful conversation regarding what we need to do together to highlight Nigeria’s Agricultural presence in the Middle East Region.”
Saying the agricultural sector remains one of the fundamental drivers of the strong Nigerian economy, she urged key players in the Agricultural industry to take the necessary steps in order to partake of this rare opportunity as well as the booming market in the Middle East using Dubai as a hub.
Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, charged Nigerian agro-entrepreneurs to try to understand the market, have export plan, export procedures and documentation.
He said they should also choose preferable market entry approach, adding that efforts must be made to increase production and adopt international best practices to make their products attractive in the markets.