By Dipo Olowookere
An end-to-end farm mechanization solution called Farm-To-Folk initiative has been launched in Nigeria by Springfield Agro Limited, a Kewalram Chanrai Group company, in partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a part of the $19 billion Mahindra Group with a growing global presence.
The initiative aims to develop agriculture and farming ecosystem in Nigeria and provide customized farming solutions for every need of the farming community.
It was launched in Nigeria in collaboration with the Katsina State government.
Under the aegis of this initiative the company will not only provide tractors and farm equipment solutions, but also be a key enabler in knowledge dissemination. Springfield Agro and Mahindra will setup agric centres across the state – Chibiyar Chi Gaban Manoma – Gromost Centre. The Gromost Centre will be a one-stop-shop to empower farmers with the knowledge of soil, seeds, micro-irrigation and harvesting as well as the relevant method for caring of crops.
Farmers from every region and capacity will benefit from these Gromost Centres. This in turn will drive Farm Tech Prosperity and contribute immensely to the growth of Agriculture and Farming in Nigeria.
The launch agenda will also include the commissioning of 225 tractors by the Katsina State Governor, Mr Aminu Masari, in line with the government’s effort to encourage farming and increase support for the growth of farmers’ unions and other agro-based associations.
Mr Masari, represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Mannir Yakubu, at the launch said, “Our intention is to deploy adequate farm machineries and mechanization to a level that will boost agricultural productivity to at least 50 percent of international standards.”
Speaking on the Farm to Fork initiative, Mr Ashok Thakur, Vice President & Head of Operations-Africa Business, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said, “At Mahindra, our core belief is that an informed farmer is an empowered farmer and we are delighted to provide them with resources to reap the most from what they sow.
“In fact, we have moved beyond just selling tractors and the idea is to enrich the farmers’ knowledge and ultimately drive Farm Tech Prosperity and help them Rise. The launch of the Gromost Centre in Katsina state is in line with this philosophy.”
Mr Thakur further added that, “For decades now, Mahindra has been partnering in the growth story of Africa. The idea behind launching Gromost Centres is to further boost local employment, aid local sourcing, disseminate knowledge, enhance skill sets and offer custom made solutions.”
Tarun Kumar Das, Managing Director, Springfield Agro said, “Private sector investment in agriculture is the panacea to diversifying Nigeria’s economy.
“We need to deepen alliances and invest in new solutions. More importantly we want to be part of the smallholder farmer’s story by helping them rise. Given the proper support, the smallholder farmers can feed the future of the country and the continent.”
Speaking at the media briefing announcing this initiative, representative of the Katsina state government, Dr Abba Abdullah, Special Advisor to the Governor on Agriculture said, “The small window available for sowing & harvesting enhances the need for mechanization in agriculture.
“There is stagnation in productivity because of the low mechanization level & low permeation of technology and this is the gap we hope to bridge.”
Speaking further on this collaboration, Mr Das added that “the Katsina State Government, along with institutional partners like TOOAN, NIRSAL and Access Bank, deserve commendation and we appeal to other states to emulate their actions.”
Mahindra and Mahindra is the largest tractor manufacturer in the world with a tractor assembly plant commissioned by Springfield Agro in Nigeria, which has a manufacturing capacity of 5,000 tractors and associated agricultural.
It produces various ranges of tractors from 25Hp to 80Hp to cater to a wide spectrum of customers’ needs. Over the years, it has created thousands of satisfied customers in Nigeria and millions across the world.
The Katsina State Government with its current leadership is keen to increase food production and food security for its teeming population.
The administration is making all efforts to ensure sustainable development while improving income and quality of life for its resource-poor population in villages, with special emphasis on Farm Tech Prosperity.
NGX Upgrades Price Stock Group of Eterna
By Dipo Olowookere
The price stock group of Eterna Plc has been moved upward by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Business Post reports.
In a regulatory notice on Monday, the bourse noted that it upgraded the stock category of the energy company from a low-price stock group to a medium-price stock group.
This action, according to the exchange, was necessitated after the stability in the price of the company’s equities within four of the last six months in the new price category, in line with its price methodology framework.
“Equity securities of quoted companies on the exchange (NGX) are classified into three stock price groups or categories; high-priced, medium-priced, and low-priced stocks, based on their market price.
“In this regard, securities must have traded for at least four out of the most recent six-month period within a stock price group’s specified price band to be classified into the category.
“Accordingly, a review of Eternal Plc stock price and trade activities over the most recent six-month period provides the basis for reclassifying the security from the low-priced stock group to the medium-priced stock group.
“This reclassification also necessitates the attendant change in the tick size change from N0.01 kobo to N0.05 kobo, in line with Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of the exchange, 2015 (trading license holders’ rules),” the statement from the platform stated.
Unlisted Securities Investors Gain N18.29bn in Five Days
By Dipo Olowookere
It was another positive week for unlisted securities investors in Nigeria as they smiled home with N18.29 billion last week on the floor of the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange.
This was buoyed by the 1.98 per cent week-on-week growth recorded by the alternative bourse in the country during the five-day trading week, which had five stocks closing on the gainers’ chart, with none on the opposite table.
Data harvested by Business Post indicated that FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria appreciated by 10.44 per cent to settle at N69.00 per unit. UBN Property Gain 7.14 per cent to trade at 75 Kobo per share, Niger Delta Exploration and Production improved by 6.95 per cent to N200.00 per unit, Geo-Fluids rose by 6.12 per cent to N1.04 per share, and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) increased by 3.85 per cent to N13.50 per unit.
In the week, the volume of trades declined by 35.51 per cent to 24.5 million units from 62.6 million units, the number of deals went down by 12.82 per cent to 66 deals from the preceding week’s 71 deals, while the value of transactions increased by 122.48 per cent to N96.6 million from N87.6 million.
The most active security for the week by volume was Geo-Fluids, with the sale of 20.0 million units, followed by UBN Property with 3.4 million units. FrieslandCampina traded 581,021 units, CSCS transacted 375,512 units, and VFD Group exchanged 111,104 units.
However, the most active equity by value for the week was FrieslandCampina, with a sale of N38.5 million. VFD Group recorded N27.2 million, Geo-Fluids traded N20.7 million, CSCS transacted 5.1 million, and UBN Property traded N2.6 million.
Data showed that the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) increased in the week by 13.92 points to 717.15 points from 703.23 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N18.29 billion to N942.35 billion from N924.06 billion.
Nigeria’s External Reserves Shed 0.14% to $37.020bn
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
In one week, Nigeria’s external reserves depreciated by a marginal 0.14 per cent to $37.020 billion from $37.070 billion in the preceding week.
Data obtained by Business Post from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed that the balance in the coffers was as of Thursday, February 2, 2023.
The FX balance in the country’s purse was supposed to expand during this period when prices of crude oil were relatively stable, but this has not been the case because of low production.
Nigeria relies heavily on the sale of crude oil to earn forex, which is currently scarce in the country, putting the Naira under pressure.
The federal government has blamed low crude oil output on the theft of the commodity and has promised to make efforts to address the issue.
Recall that in August 2022, Nigeria’s crude oil production plunged below one million barrels per day (972,394 bpd), the lowest ever in several years.
However, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the output improved by 171,000 barrels per day in November to 1.186mbpd, though about 700,000 barrels per day less than its quota for the month.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the federal government plans to improve the country’s crude oil production to 1.6 million barrels per day by the first quarter of 2023.
It is believed that this would boost the FX earnings of the nation and bolster the reserves and the local currency in the foreign exchange market.
Last week, the Nigerian Naira depreciated against the United States Dollar on a week-on-week basis by 25 Kobo or 0.05 per cent to N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding week’s N461.75/$1.
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