Agric processing smallholders should drive diversification of economy – expert


An agriculturist, Mr Duro Kuteyi, on Tuesday called for active participation of agriculture processing smallholders to enhance diversification of the nation’s economy from oil.
Kuteyi, the Managing Director of Spectra Industries Ltd., disclosed in Lagos that agriculture processing smallholders should drive the diversification.
According to him, the smallholders -owners of small farms – need different amounts of money to start and sustain their businesses.
“It is good to add value to our agricultural produce, and it is the agriculture processing smallholders that can cover the whole gamut of the produce.
“Agriculture value chain is vast; waiting to set up a gigantic factory before processing will not take us anywhere as a country.
“In the hands of smallholders, we can go a long way until we get to the top,’’ he said.
He said that a smallholder could graduate from kitchen, micro and cottage to a big holder overtime.
Kuteyi noted that all agricultural produce had beneficial byproducts.
The expert, however, regretted that the operating environment of agriculture processing smallholders was beclouded with many difficulties including lack of funds for expansion.
He said that the situation did not augur well for diversification to agricultural economy since all the value chain faced the same challenges.

Kuteyi said there was the need to provide certification for smallholders’ products at all levels to enable them to compete favourably with foreign goods.

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