SMEDAN organizes agri-business development, empowerment programme

NEWS DIGEST – Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, has organized agri-business development and empowerment programme in Katsina State.

According to the the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Umar Dikko Radda, the programme is to promote and facilitate the development programmes and projects in the MSMEs sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Dr Radda shared that the organization is working to create a good enabling environment for business and small enterprises.

He said, “Serving as a vanguard for rural industrialization, poverty reduction, job creation and enhanced livelihoods.

Linking MSMEs to internal and external sources of finance, appropriate technology and technical skills as well as large enterprises.

“Working in contact with other institutions to create a good enabling environment for business in general and MSMEs activities in particular.”

SMEDAN DG added that MSMEs are vital in the socio-economic transformation in developing and developed countries.

“Globally, MSMEs are recognized as engines of socio-economic transformation, as has become well established in both developing and developed economies. They offer opportunities to drive jobs and wealth creation as well as income re-distribution within society.

“These further unveil them as a distinctive mainstay of the economy that requires befitting attention. The expectation of SMEDAN is to drive more output from the sub-sector with more careful attention to resources deployment and proper management.”

SMEDAN created the Agribusiness Development and Extension (AD&E) Department as the fulfilment of a long-held desire to enlarge the windows for delivering its core mandate to the Nigerian people.

According to SMEDAN, the department now focuses exclusively on agri-business development, in line with the emphasis of the current Federal Government.

“The on-going Agricultural Development and Empowerment Programme (ADEP) training, is one of the instruments available to the Department to meet its mandate.

“Here, the focus is on providing capacity building or human capital development, with associated business development services (BDS) to existing participants of existing Federal/State Government agribusiness initiatives as well as youth start-ups.

“This will procure the required mind-set, which inculcates agriculture in programme beneficiaries as a business – worthy of pride, devotion and diversification. We thus key into Mr President’s vision of raising 100 million persons out of poverty over the next four years.”

The objectives for the training programme include to encourage the target beneficiaries to embrace agri-business development, as a viable business option; strengthen entrepreneurship skills of potential/existing beneficiaries of agri-business development schemes; facilitate networking/exchanges amongst beneficiary farmers and their peers for value addition and inclusive value chain development as well as encourage the diversification of the economy away from crude oil, using agriculture.

At the closing ceremony, agribusiness cooperatives received cash grants of about two hundred and eighty eight thousand naira, amounting to a total of four million, six hundred and twenty thousand naira.

In his closing remarks, Dr Radda said trainings are also going on in other parts of the country.

“As we gather here today, similar ADEP trainings are taking place in two centres each in Bauchi, Yobe, Enugu and Ogun States. Also, two weeks ago, we were in other five states of Kebbi, Borno, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Ondo delivering impact as part our commitment to fostering the business skills of micro and small enterprises (MSEs).”