Unlocking the potentials of the agricultural sector is key to contributing to sustainable and inclusive growth for Africa.

This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer, Sourcing and Produce, Lanre Awojoodu, in a statement issued by the company on Monday.

Awojoodu has directly exported agricultural commodities to 27 countries globally from Nigeria, as his company is establishing its footprints across African markets.

What Awojoodu is saying about limitless opportunities in agric

He said, “The agricultural sector has limitless opportunities that can be explored in the export market, as our company has also incorporated Sourcing and Produce Inc, in the US.

“It is important for investors to take advantage of this unique opportunity by doing business with credible export organizations, as this would help to meet growing demands for agricultural produce and earn better returns on their investments.”

He stated that it was gratifying to note that despite the limited access to investment capital which has further negatively impacted agricultural export growth, the company was defying all the odds to make agriculture produce available to its customers in several parts of the world.

He, therefore, called for the support of government particularly in the area of access to loans, noting that making funds available for export companies would encourage them to be part of the regulated commodity platform.

“I would suggest an NXP pre-financing scheme, this will really help the government and exporters. Government makes available affordable loans for exporters who have a track record of NXP’s.

“Let us say a situation where you can get a loan of 50-70% of your NXP value of the previous year in a loan. If you default, then you are blacklisted. Capital needs to be cheaper to be able to compete on prices globally. A framework along this line will be positive. The Government will see more exporters using Importer and Exporter FX window,” he added.

Challenges ahead

He explained that getting credible customers, funding, poor road infrastructure and cost of freight remains the biggest drawbacks affecting the business, noting that over the last 10 years, the business has gone through many phases.

“Getting credible customers, in the beginning, was a challenge. How do you get them to trust and respect you as a Nigerian? I sold this by leveraging my relationships with people I knew abroad to help me engage customers. For example, I searched for a Dutch friend to help engage a Dutch customer.

“Apart from that, the Cost of Funding is another major issue. In this part of the world, agric commodity export is a capital-intensive business. A $1million dollar investment is even just the start. A container of ginger pepper is about N25million, this means with N100million you may not do so much before the season ends,” he said.

What you should know

Sourcing & Produce Ltd is a commodity trading company that specializes in procuring and distributing agricultural commodities sourced from Africa, specifically Nigeria to customers globally. It currently exports to 5 continents across the globe trading on key Agric commodities such as Beans, Ginger, Turmeric, Pepper, Sesame Seeds, Cashew Nuts, ArabicGum and more.