Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services partnered United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) recently to organise a stakeholders consultative meeting in Lagos with farmers to discuss the prospect, challenges and marketing widows of cassava production in the country.
Speaking at the forum, Managing Director of Robert Bosch West Africa, Mr. Ghislain Noumbessy, said it is imperative for farmers to take advantage of the technological tools and services that could help them find solutions to their food loss and perk up their profit.
Noumbessy stated that Bosch has been motivated by the search for ever-better technological solutions and fresh approaches that will help tackle the great challenges of today and deliver benefits to her customers.
"At Bosch, our work is guided and motivated to find solutions to even the most complex technological challenges while at the same time preserving natural resources and making a positive contribution to the society and that is why we decided to create a stakeholders consultative meeting to discuss about the market prospects, challenges and opportunities of agriculture especially in Cassava farming", he said.
A representative of UNIDO from Austria, Dr. Yvonne Lokko stated that organization is working with Bosch in line with the United Nations agenda to reduce poverty, facilitate trade capacity building, agri-business and agro-industry development in Nigeria.
Speaking on the Bank of Industry role in Agric-Business development in Nigeria, its Managing Director, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa stated that agriculture is one of the cardinal agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, saying the bank will continue to give adequate necessary supports and loans to farmers to grow their business.
Olaoluwa, who was represented by the Group Head, Agro Processing Unit of BoI, Mrs. Ruth Kadafa said farming is a serious business and cassava is a profitable trade but there is a significant need for many farmers to improve on their skills and management structures to enable them improve their farming in 21st century.
She said BoI has noticed that many farmers are individualistic and hardly come together as a team to have a registered corporative or association which could enable them to access loans from financial institutions.
"Many farmers come to the BoI to seek for loans but they do not have any trackable sales record or evidence of market sales, they cannot present convincing workable proposals or a clear thought-out business frame work that could enable them secure loans", she said.
Mrs. Kadafa therefore charged farmers integrate and collaborate with like-minds, utilize technological tool to improve the quality of the produce and package them as premium brands that consumers will be willing to pay for.
To encourage farmers to leverage on the opportunity to improve the quality and quantity of their cassava and other farm produce with the aid of her offerings, the company's Sales Director for Bosch West Africa, Mr. Francis Omoniyi said: "Bosch will be giving one year free service maintenance to customers that purchase any of their tools and educate them how to fully utilize the equipment".
He added that Bosch want to assist to further boost the nation's GDP by structuring agric business via capacity building.