Wednesday, April 24, 2024

BASICS-II Organizes Business Summit for Cassava Seed Producers

The Building an Economically Sustainable and Integrated Cassava Seed System, Phase 2 (BASICS-II) project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) organized a cassava seed business summit to discuss the importance of finance and insurance on cassava seed ventures.

The Building an Economically Sustainable and Integrated Cassava Seed System, Phase 2 (BASICS-II) project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) organized a cassava seed business summit to discuss the importance of finance and insurance on cassava seed ventures.

Stakeholders at the summit raised concerns over their inability to access loans and insurance cover. It was held virtually, with over 130 cassava entrepreneurs in attendance, with the theme: “Financing and Insurance Opportunities for the Sustainable Growth of the Cassava Seed System.”

President of Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Association of Nigeria (ICSAN), Mr. Charles Adeniji, charged government and finance institutions to address the funding bottlenecks, which he highlighted to include high-interest rates, short tenure, and often strident conditions.

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Also, the Vice President of the National Association of Cassava Seed Entrepreneurs Network (NACSEN), Dr. Augusta Amajuoyi, noted that seed entrepreneurs find it difficult to get loans because of the harsh conditions given by banks requesting collateral and all manner of things, adding that interest rates are up to 28 percent sometimes.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mr. Ernest Umakhihe, encouraged seed enterprises to make insurance cover part of their business strategies

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Umakhihe, who was represented by the Deputy Director Irrigation, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Sugra Mahmood, calls for creation of awareness on the business prospects of cassava seed multiplication and the importance of partnerships and collaboration to support the growth of a sustainable cassava seed system.

The Director General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr. Phillip Ojo, noted that the continuous collaboration of stakeholders towards a robust and vibrant seed system would bring about catalyzed growth of the cassava value chain.

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