Business Hilights
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Sterling Bank plans summit to drive access to $1tn African agribusiness market

As part of drive to actualisation of the $1tn African agribusiness economy dream by 2030, Sterling Bank will next month, power a summit in Abuja for policy makers, development agencies, international financial institutions, and value chain players in agriculture on the continent.

Coming with the theme: ‘Agriculture–Your piece of the trillion-dollar economy,’ the bank in a statement averred that the key target is to expose Nigerian players in the agribusiness value chain to the untapped market valued at over $1tn.

According to the bank, “We were moved to organise the summit because more than 50 per cent of the world’s fertile and unused land estimated at 450 million hectares was in Africa and Nigeria in particular, yet agriculture productivity was still low.

Explaining more, the bank’s Group Head, Agriculture Finance and Solid Minerals, Sterling Bank, Bukola Awosanya, said, “Agriculture productivity in Africa is low and a source of concern in the sector that accounts for 60 per cent of the continent’s labour force and 75 per cent of its domestic trade.

“And the creation of a single African market with over 1.2 billion people through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement treaty is not without possible adverse impact on the sector’s growth which calls for a pan-African agriculture summit.’’

While noting that market-led transformation driven by strategic partnerships would stimulate investment, create new jobs, wealth and food security, Awosanya averred that “It was imperative that the same model was adopted across the 54 countries that now make up the single African market to improve productivity, guarantee food security and ensure a future of shared prosperity for all Africans.”

“The international summit will foster an integrated approach to agricultural value chain transformation on the continent while also facilitating intra-African trade,” Sterling Bank said.

Business Hilights recalls that last year, the bank hosted smallholder farmers, input suppliers, agro processing entrepreneurs, development finance agencies, policy makers and captains of industry in a technical workshop on the agriculture value chain in Abuja.

The planned September summit will further grow investors’ interest in the agribusiness industry and champion the Federal Government’s economic diversification campaign in the sector.