The Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project has served its first lot of 50 beneficiaries in Lagos State under the aquaculture, poultry and rice value chains training on accessing second-level financing.
Oluranti Sageo-Oviebo, the state project coordinator for APPEALS, disclosed at the graduation that APPEALS would ensure farmers do not enter into financial contracts they will not be committed to.
APPEALS, a project centered on small-scale farmers, is a tripartite partnership between the World Bank, the Nigerian federal government and Lagos State.
The training was conducted in collaboration with the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) around the theme “Entrepreneurship Accessing Single Digit CBN Agro-Credit and Export Readiness.”
According to Sageo-Oviebo, among those who met the criteria for participating in the training were farmers, women and youth who benefited under the Commercial Agriculture Development Project and are doing very well.
She added that after the trainings, APPEALS plans to work closely with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute and the Export Promotion Council on identifying certification and export opportunities.
Also at the event, Olajide Bashorun, chairman of Rhyss Farms Limited and former permanent secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, noted that exportation was important to earning foreign exchange.
Kolawole Awe, managing director of SPT Logistics Nigeria Limited, also commented on the importance of export opportunities, saying that farmers must collaborate to be able to penetrate the international market.
Meanwhile, Olumide Ajayi, the executive director of the ALF, called for donor projects like APPEALS to be sustained, reiterating the need to train farmers so they can access funding and create more jobs.
“We have done a lot in the area of capacity building in governance and enterprise development. We have been working with the CBN since 2008, we were made the enterprise development firm for South-West in 2013,” Ajayi said.