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Agribusinesses bound to fail if government allows infrastructure deficits — Former LCCI Chairman

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Lagos, June 11, 2019 An Agro-entrepreneur, Mr Elliot Adeola, on Tuesday warned that agribusinesses were bound to fail if government continued to allow infrastructural deficit, policy somersaults and poor legislative inputs.

Adeola, a former Chairman of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Agriculture Trade Group, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

According to him, other factors contributing to mortality of some agribusiness ventures in the first five years include haphazard policy implementation.

“Basically, the issue of environmental factor is germane in the agribusiness space. There are many factors that are responsible for this failure of agribusinesses.

“Institutional, corporate and organisational deficiencies, including horrible and haphazard policy implementation by civil servants, which cascades down into private sector, businesses are bound to fail as a reaction to the institutional failures,’’ he said.

Adeola, however, called for proper technical knowledge of the agricultural value chains because ignorance had contributed immensely to agribusiness failures.

“Agriculture requires strong mentoring for growth. Failure at embryo stage has always been the product of technical ignorance. Most investors are ignorant of the “modus operandi”.

“The hype of agricultural potential got many people to divert funds into its value chain without the necessary knowledge prerequisite. Until mentoring and partnership are structured for new entrants, mortality rate may continue to be high.

“Meanwhile, few agricultural entrepreneurs are experimenting mentoring and partnership approach with Nigerian investors in the Diaspora. We are hoping this will change the current failure rhythm.

“Hopefully, it will cascade down to the small farm holders, thereby improving agriculture sector’s contributions to the GDP.

“Already, the Q1 2019 GDP profited immensely from agriculture sector; in the light of this experiment, one hopes it will continue in spite of the challenges,’’ Adeola said.

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