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iProduce Africa, an agribusiness hub sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank, is striving to boost the operations and export capabilities of Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Agri-Entrepreneurs as they seek to take advantage of the government’s Zero-Oil Plan. Nigeria’s Zero-Oil plan is a blueprint for a strategic non-oil export-led economic diversification agenda.

iProduce Africa, backed by the IsDB, will train Nigerian owned agribusinesses and SMEs, especially young Agri-Entrepreneurs, on the requisite technical skills to equip them on how to export their produce thereby intergrating them into global food value chains. iProduce will also train the SMEs and Agri-Entrepreneurs on how to access finance, including non-interest funding, for their export activities, Aisha Waziri-Umar, Chief Executive Officer of iProduce Africa, said in a press statement.

Agribusiness exports present a significant opportunity for job creation to absorb the youth bulge and improve the livelihoods of young people who make up the majority of the population, according to Mrs Waziri- Umar.

“We are forming partnerships with the relevant government ministries and agencies and I’m confident that iProduce will play a vital role in the diversification of the Nigerian economy,” she said.

As part of ongoing effort to make agribusiness export simpler and increase awareness on the available opportunities in the various global food value chains, iProduce Africa will on November 20, 2021 hold a training workshop for SMEs on the theme: Accessing Non-Interest Finance For Agribusiness Exports.

Experts will be engaged by iProduce to train and advise Agri-Entrepreneurs on how to take advantage of the Nigeria’s non-interest banking windows to secure financing for the export of high quality agric commodities Mrs Waziri-Umar said.

Since August, 2021, when it was formally launched by the Honourable Minister of Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo, iProduce Africa has trained about 500 farmers on various areas of agribusiness including livestocks, fruits and vegetables, garments, among others. It has held several training workshops since inception. iProduce Africa plans to train at least 1,000 Agri-Entrepreneurs in 2022 and back them with the relevant agribusiness advisory services, according to Mrs Waziri-Umar.

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