Africa’s Agric Production Systems Need Radical Change—Karingi
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
“Regardless of the approach or transformative pathway chosen to change food systems and trade regimes, African countries need to undertake radical change in agricultural production systems, adopt agribusiness and promote regional agricultural value chains as a vein for regional integration.” The statement was made by Mr Stephen Karingi, Director of the ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division this week in Cote d’Ivoire, at the opening of a symposium themed: Implementing Agro-Industrialization and Regional Value Chains for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation.
“Despite a handful of landmark political commitments, Africa is the only region in the world that has witnessed an increase in the number of food insecure people and has a mushrooming agricultural and food trade deficit,” said Mr Karingi.
He noted that the food situation continues to worsen in real terms with the number of chronically food insecure reaching 229 million in 2016. “This is about 49 million more people at risk compared to 1990 – almost one of every four in Africa, excluding North Africa,” he said.
Mr Karingi indicated that the progress in the levels of agricultural productivity has been uneven across countries, ranging from an increase of 325% in Nigeria to a decrease of about 40% in Zimbabwe and proposed that rethinking agricultural transformation would involve the adoption of a three-pronged approach that should systematically and comprehensively consider three essential elements: farming systems, agribusiness and regional value chains.
On efficient farming systems he said that Africa needs to produce more food and agricultural products through systems that can produce more with less finger print; that are resilient to climate variability and external shocks and that are more responsive to changing needs.
With regard to adopting an agribusiness growth strategy, he said it fits both the resource endowment of most African economies and the conditions surrounding the overwhelming majority of the poor who live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
“Agribusiness is substantially labour-intensive in terms of creating jobs and generating value added; in addition, it strengthens forward and backward linkages,” he said, adding: “This entails a paradigm shift from supply to a demand-driven market, in which the agribusiness value chain, covering farming production, processing and services and shifts the transitional focus from production to downstream stages of value chains.” He underscored the benefits of a sustained demand for agricultural products, stating that a vigorous agribusiness would fuel agricultural production and productivity.
On the third approach, Mr Karingi said that promoting regional agricultural value chains is a critical step towards creating incentives for meaningful private sector investment, allowing the full realization of competitiveness gains and intra-regional trade potential for African agriculture.
ECA has embarked, jointly with the AUC, on a process to develop a Draft Africa Policy Framework, Applications Platform and Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Regional Agricultural Value Chains (RAVCs). The Policy Framework aims to provide principles, tools and guidelines for Regional Economic Communities and AU member states to guide policies and regulations that promote a viable sustainable agricultural development through fostering RAVCs. The framework builds on the findings of 5 regional assessment studies, spanning over 16 African countries, of value chains of some of the most important strategic commodities. These studies, through a comprehensive approach, identified the potential and challenges for the development of regional value chains and underscored the need to develop a unified coordination and implementation arrangement.
The Symposium is jointly organized by the ECA, the Government of Cote D’Ivoire, African Union’s Trade and Industry Department and the African Development Bank.
Dangote Says N300bn Bond Listing Reflects Nigerian Capital Market Depth
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The listing of Dangote Industries Limited’s N300 billion series 1 and 2 bonds on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited has been described as an indicator of the depth of the Nigerian capital market.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the conglomerates, Mr Olakunle Alake, said this on Wednesday when a closing gong ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the listing of the corporate debt instrument on the local stock exchange.
Mr Alake, represented by the Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr Mustapha Ibrahim, said, “We are pleased to have showcased the depth and liquidity of the domestic capital market whilst we reflect the strong quality of the issuer, despite the current global market realities.”
According to him, the depth of the market was reflected in the successful issuance of the bond, which was the largest aggregate local currency bond issued in the capital market so far within the year.
He further noted that the listing of the bond recorded participation from a wide range of investors, including domestic pension funds, asset managers and insurance companies and further demonstrated investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s credit reality.
On his part, the Divisional Head of Capital Markets at NGX, Mr Jude Chiemeka, speaking at the event, applauded the listing of the bond, which provides corporates with the opportunity to raise capital.
“The listing of this transaction on our platform not only allows for a more liquid capital market, but it also shows our capacity to facilitate large transactions towards enabling a more robust ecosystem,” Mr Chiemeka said.
He further noted that NGX remains committed to fostering similar transactions through its digital gateways such as this and a confident market where corporates and investors can achieve their respective objectives.
Unlisted Securities Market Closes Flat at Midweek
By Adedapo Adesanya
Trading activities ended in a stalemate on the floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange on Wednesday, with no single price gainer or a price loser at the close of business.
As a result of this development, the market capitalisation of the bourse remained intact at N1.03 trillion, as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) also remained unchanged at 743.15 points.
The unlisted securities market closed flat in the midweek session amid low investor appetite for the market, as attention shifted to the fixed-income market, where the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold treasury bills at the primary market, with the stop rate over 14 per cent.
Data from the bourse showed that the volume of securities traded yesterday was abysmally low as it went down by 99.9 per cent to 8,299 units from the 20.1 million units transacted a day earlier.
Likewise, the value of shares traded during the session dropped to N1.2 million, 97.3 per cent lower than the N44.5 million posted in the preceding trading day.
These transactions were carried out yesterday in nine deals, 75 per cent lower than the 36 deals executed on Tuesday.
Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 482.1 million units valued at N544.1 million, UBN Property Plc occupied second place with the sale of 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, while Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc was in third place with the sale of 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.
Also, VFD Group Plc ended the session as the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc was in second place with a turnover of 482.1 million units worth N544.1 million, while UBN Property Plc was in third place with the sale of 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
Naira Sells N461.24/$1 at I&E, N764/$1 at P2P, N747/$1 at Black Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Naira appreciated against the US Dollar in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) windows of the foreign exchange market on Wednesday, March 30, but depreciated in the black market.
In the P2P segment, it gained N3 against its American counterpart to quote at N764/$1, in contrast to the N767/$1 it was traded on Tuesday as the demand for cryptos, which most traders in this category use the funds to buy, was relatively mild.
In the I&E window or the spot market, the Naira appreciated against the greenback yesterday by 51 Kobo or 0.11 per cent to settle at N461.24/$1 compared with the previous day’s N461.75/$1, according to data obtained from FMDQ Securities Exchange, with the forex turnover put at $74.31 million.
But in the parallel market, the domestic currency depreciated against the US Dollar in the midweek session by N4 to trade at N747/$1 versus Tuesday’s exchange rate of N743/$1.
Also, in the interbank window, the Naira lost N1.93 against the Pound Sterling to sell at N567.68/£1 versus Tuesday’s N565.52/£1, and against the Euro, it slid by N2.25 to at N499.21/€1 compared with the preceding day’s N496.66/€1.
Meanwhile, the digital currency market swayed to the bulls yesterday as most of the tokens tracked by Business Post ended in the green territory amid better-than-expected consumer confidence figures from the United States.
Data from the US Conference Board showed that its monthly survey rose to a reading of 104.2 basis points, better than the 101 mark expected, lifting Bitcoin (BTC) by 4.2 per cent to $28,519.76, as Ethereum (ETH) rose by 0.5 per cent to $1,788.52.
Solana (SOL) grew by 2.1 per cent to $21.08, Dogecoin (DOGE) gained 1.4 per cent to sell at $0.0751, Litecoin (LTC) increased by 0.6 per cent to $90.14, while Cardano (ADA) chalked up 0.5 per cent to quote at $0.3797.
However, Ripple (XRP) dropped 0.4 per cent to trade at $0.5336, Binance Coin (BNB) lost 0.2 per cent to settle at $313.02, and Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) traded flat at $1.00 apiece.
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