Connect with us

Economy

New Investments Will Give Africa Lead in Agri Development

Published

on

Sola David-Borha

At a time when the rest of the world is re-thinking its approach to commercial agriculture, Africa has a clear opportunity to refresh its approach to the sector and become an emerging force.

Big shifts are already happening in food production, land and water use, and the integration of agri-tech and product tracing.

If African firms take an early lead during this transition, they will be well placed to compete globally by building enduring assets and commercial advantages beyond primary production.

The financing of new investments in agriculture has always relied on a healthy financial eco-system: active banks, sound insurers and lively futures markets.

The next set of gains will come from new platforms that allow small and large firms to connect to each other and to their shared stakeholders. The reciprocal exchange of market data will make smaller, efficient players more visible to large buyers.

“Without continued advances in agricultural productivity, the whole project of African advancement is at risk,” according to Linda Manda, Sector Head Agribusiness, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank. “The stakes are high for all of us”, says Ms Manda, “because communities in Africa rely on the agriculture industry for much more than food: employment, investment and infrastructure development are all part of the deal.”  Over half (52%) of all people in Sub-Saharan Africa are employed in agriculture (2019).

Three recent developments: Higher value incentives

Three recent development milestones suggest that African firms are ready to move beyond low-margin primary production while remaining active in agriculture.

ALSO READ  NSIA Rules out Dividend for FG, States, LGs as Income, Profit Drop

According to Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive of Africa regions at Standard Bank, “‘higher-value economic activity is even more likely if finance, technology and trade move deeper into African agriculture. Larger and more open markets, strong supplier networks and technology investments will drive Africa’s growth.”

Trade data, and Standard Bank’s own long experience of trade finance, shows that Africa has been a net importer of food for almost two decades although the trade deficit has narrowed recently.

Despite the impressive export growth of certain key products, other food imports continue to rise. The COVID-induced disruption to imports is a reminder that regional resilience in the food supply is a practical imperative, not an intangible aspiration.

A larger, more open, internal market in SSA

First, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) should create a much larger internal market that gives producers access to a larger and more open market. Local production can better compete with the current import-and-distribute model. Large-scale production will arise when the returns are not stifled by trade friction. As an African bank, Standard Bank’s role is to put our strong balance sheet to work, lending to the new crop of agri-entrepreneurs.

Multinationals are already active cross-border distributors, but we expect new African producers to be attracted to the intra-African produce-to-trade and value addition opportunity. Africa also needs to be ready for the next disruption in trade. Some global imports will always be required but it would be wise to ensure that key inputs can also be sourced regionally.

ALSO READ  FG’s Economy Recovery Plan Excites Private Sector

Fading distinctions between suppliers

Second, the contrived distinction between the produce of small-holder farmers and very large commercial producers is beginning to fade. The new financial platforms being offered by Standard Bank will confirm the extent which large and small farming operations can complement one another.

Out-grower programmes offered by large global firms allow smallholders to establish themselves as suppliers to the biggest and most profitable value chains.

Tobacco, sugar and sorghum are all good case studies. Our banking platform is a place where buyers can meet producers, surrounded by market data on inputs, crop prices, volumes, regulations, trade advice and currency movements.

From the top of a tall grain silo, the neat polygons of mono-crop plantations appear to be the only advanced outposts of progress. By contrast, small-holder farmland can seem rough and rudimentary remnants of a pre-industrial age. Our own experience is quite different.

Smallholder farmers that have access to the right platforms and better yields are also able to compete on quality and cost. Local knowledge of weather, grains, indigenous varieties, insects, and soil has accumulated over many years in Africa and is becoming a treasure of indigenous competence and resourcefulness. The huge expansion of biological patents attests to the large commercial value of small, local insights.

ALSO READ  Morgan Capital at War With Atlass Portfolios Over ‘Clients Theft’

Adoption of technology and optimisation logistics

The third recent milestone is the broad acceptance across Africa that advances in technology are not peripheral to growth. Grudging acceptance has given way to enthusiastic adoption.

Healthy livestock, fertile plantations, productive greenhouses and efficient cold chains all require technology partnerships to keep them productive and profitable.

Two decades of smartphone penetration in rural communities has probably eased the transition from guesswork and speculation to data-driven decisions and GPS mapping.

To make the most of this milestone, every hectare of land, every seedling and every bag of fertiliser must be used optimally. On-farm losses and unreliable methods are simply unaffordable during health pandemics and economic recessions.

Private investment in telecoms, machinery and pipelines will eventually work alongside publicly funded infrastructure: roads, rail and bulk water supplies.

Policy reforms need to support more public-private partnerships that have shown they can build and maintain high-quality infrastructure assets.

Consumer demand for less waste and more conservation will support investments in new systems that supply micro-nutrients to digitally-mapped crops and livestock. Food-insecure communities in Africa can cheer this development as much as time-starved households in wealthy countries: a regular surplus of well-priced food is the best guarantee of the social stability in which economic growth can best be cultivated.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Economy

11 Plc Joins NASD Exchange, Trades at N215 Per Unit

Published

on

11 Plc

By Dipo Olowookere

An energy company, 11 Plc, formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, has joined the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange.

The firm joined the NASD Exchange on Friday, June 18, 2021, after it voluntarily delisted its stocks on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited last month.

Business Post gathered that when 11 Plc was admitted into the unlisted securities market, it was allotted the trading symbol, SD11PLC, and its securities were listed at N215 per unit.

Recall that in February 2021, Business Post reported that 11 Plc would trade its shares on the NASD platform after it exits the country’s main stock exchange.

ALSO READ  NSIA Rules out Dividend for FG, States, LGs as Income, Profit Drop

The energy firm had explained that it was leaving the NGX to “focus on revenue generation, consider strategic opportunities, alliances and collaborations; and tremendously shift from regulatory, administrative, and financial reporting regulations that companies listed on the exchange must adhere to.”

Before leaving, it offered shareholders who intend to sell their stake in the firm N213.90 for each of the unit held by them, noting that this amount was reached because it was the price shares of the company were sold at the exchange six months preceding the notice of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2020, where the decision to delist was agreed.

ALSO READ  Time to Invest in Stocks for Cash Payment in a Month's Time is Now

At the close of business on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, shares of the company traded flat at N228 per unit. The firm had shares outstanding of 360,595,262 and a market capitalisation of N82.2 billion.

“The interest of dissenting shareholders shall be bought by the company for a consideration of N213.90 per ordinary share, being the highest price at which 11 Plc shares have traded, six months preceding the notice of the AGM at which the resolution to delist was deliberated, as provided by the rules of the NSE,” 11 Plc had said.

ALSO READ  NNPC Vows to Cut Cost, Boost Remittance to FAAC

In a related development, the NASD OTC Exchange has also admitted Capital Bancorp Plc on its trading platform. The company also joined last Friday.

Capital Bancorp, which offers financial services, was given the trading symbol SDCBANCO and was listed at N3.83 per unit.

This brings the total number of companies on the trading exchange to 41. The OTC platform was created for securities that are not listed on any other securities exchange, providing a secure regulated platform for investors to trade on them.

Continue Reading

Economy

Unlisted Securities Suffer 0.01% Loss in 24th Trading Week

Published

on

Unlisted Securities Traders

By Adedapo Adesanya

Investors suffered a marginal loss of 0.01 per cent at the 24th trading week of 2021 on the floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange.

This reduced the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) by 0.07 points to close the week at 746.12 points in contrast to 746.19 points of the previous week.

Also, the market capitalisation of the unlisted securities ecosystem went down by N0.05 billion to N530.35 billion from N530.4 billion it closed in the preceding week.

The decline witnessed in the four-day trading week was buoyed by two equities; Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc and Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS) Plc.

ALSO READ  Unilever Shareholders Okay 50 Kobo Dividend, Sale of Blue Band Brand

NGX Group lost 3.1 per cent to close the week at N19.28 per unit compared with the previous N19.89 per unit, while CSCS went down by 0.01 per cent to close at N17.99 per share in contrast to N18.00 per share it ended the preceding week.

During the week, the volume of stocks transacted by investors decreased by 21.03 per cent to 11.8 million units from 14. 9 million units of the previous week, while the value of shares traded went down by 20.13 per cent to N240.4 million from N301.0 million recorded a week earlier, with the number of deals going down by 18.4 per cent to 124 deals from 152 deals of the previous week.

ALSO READ  FG’s Economy Recovery Plan Excites Private Sector

The most active security by value in the week was NGX Group with the sale of N205.1 million. It was trailed by CSCS Plc with N26.4 million, Nipco Plc with N8.4 million, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc with N497,202 and VFD Group Plc with N114,484.

Also, NGX Group was the most traded stock by volume last week with 10.3 million units. CSCS Plc traded 1.4 million units, VFD Group Plc exchanged 1.1 million units, Nipco Plc transacted 120,050 units, while UBN Property Plc traded 7,000 units.

ALSO READ  Morgan Capital at War With Atlass Portfolios Over ‘Clients Theft’

On a year-to-date basis, investors have traded 395.4 million securities worth N8.6 billion in 2352 deals.

Continue Reading

Economy

Weekly Investment in Equities Shrinks to N10.4bn

Published

on

equities Investment Strategy

By Dipo Olowookere

Investment in equities in Nigeria shrank last week following the public holiday declared by the federal government last Monday to mark June 12 Democracy Day.

Data from the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited showed that in the four-day trading week, investors only traded 981.2 million shares worth N10.4 billion in 15,001 deals as against the 1.1 billion shares worth N12.8 billion transacted in 17,854 deals the preceding week.

If not for the holiday, the turnover would have increased in the week as market participants traded an average of 245.3 million stocks worth N2.6 billion in 3,750 deals.

Business Post observed that Zenith Bank, Sterling Bank and Wema Bank accounted for 265.7 million units valued at N2.5 billion in 2,742 deals, contributing 27.08 per cent and 23.60 per cent to the total trading volume and value respectively.

ALSO READ  Senate Approves Buhari’s $22.7bn Loan Request

Also, financial stocks accounted for 695.8 million units worth N5.2 billion in 8,616 deals, contributing 70.92 per cent and 49.86 per cent to the total trading volume and value respectively.

Consumer goods shares followed with 75.9 million units worth N1.2 billion in 2,263 deals, while conglomerates equities recorded 67.4 million units worth N367.3 million in 612 deals.

A total of 38 equities closed on the gainers’ chart in the week, higher than 35 equities of the previous week, while 25 stocks finished on the losers’ log, lower than 36 stocks of the preceding week, with 93 shares closing flat, higher than 89 shares of the prior week.

ALSO READ  Time to Invest in Stocks for Cash Payment in a Month's Time is Now

Berger Paints was the highest price gainer, appreciating by 14.93 per cent to trade at N7.70. Lasaco Assurance gained 10.29 per cent to sell for N1.50, Champion Breweries increased by 10.00 per cent to quote at N1.98, Morison Industries went up by 9.68 per cent to trade at N1.36, while Red Star Express gained 8.06 per cent to sell for N3.35.

On the flip side, UAC Nigeria closed the week with the highest week-on-week loss of 11.01 per cent to trade at N9.70.

ALSO READ  NSIA Rules out Dividend for FG, States, LGs as Income, Profit Drop

Airtel Africa lost 10.00 per cent to close at N753.30, Abbey Mortgage Bank fell by 9.52 per cent to trade at 95 kobo, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance reduced by 9.46 per cent to 67 kobo, while Okomu Oil dropped 9.44 per cent to quote N105.50.

At the close of transactions for the week, the All-Share Index (ASI) and market capitalisation depreciated by 1.30 per cent to close at 38,648.91 points and N20.143 trillion respectively.

Continue Reading

Like Our Facebook Page

Latest News on Business Post

Trending

%d bloggers like this: