Participants and stakeholders in the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Abia State, ‘Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System in Nigeria’ (BASICS-11 Phase II) noted that while finance is critical in agriculture, access to intervention funds in Nigeria is difficult.
Cassava seed entrepreneurs at the conference, which included refresher training, discussed the necessity of links between actors in the value chain and the exclusion of land clearance (a key expense of production) from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Program (CBN).
Nigeria’s agricultural industry has suffered from a lack of extension services and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict (most notably, the skyrocketing price of fertilizer). Due to the turmoil in Ukraine, one of the world’s top urea exporters, fertilizer has been contaminated or misformulated.
Weak linkages, poor coordination, and late financial transfers were other issues.
Participants urged a reassessment of the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Program due to regional ecological discrepancies.
According to a conference statement, the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme should incorporate land clearing to help southern farmers as the same concepts may not operate in the south.
They also recommended improving Micro Intervention Funds for women-owned firms to better support female farmers, who make up most of the country’s farming population.