FG invests in firm to boost agric exports

Pandagric Novum, an agricultural company with over N10 billion investment from the federal government, aims to increase corn exports from Nigeria and improve food security across the country.

As an integrated feed and food manufacturing company, the company said it would help support the fulfillment of Nigeria’s food security goals and strengthen the agricultural value chain across the country with an integrated approach.

Managing Director, Pandagric Novum, Bruce Spain, made the announcement at a briefing in Abuja ahead of the company’s official inauguration in Nasarawa State.

He said: “The company’s goal is to reach over 10 tons (corn) per hectare in the coming years. However, if we can double our national corn average from 1.5 tons per hectare to three tons per hectare using good genetics and farming practices, then we will double our national production.

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“Nigeria is rapidly becoming a net exporter of corn, creating food security. In addition, we will reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with developing and cultivating more land.

“Our goal is to bring these practices to the farming community and see yields and agricultural production increase in Nigeria.” Pandagric explained that the forthcoming inauguration of his Nasarawa facility, under the auspices of Nigeria’s Sovereign Investment Authority, an investment institution of the federal government, and Signature Agri Investment, a Netherlands-based investment portfolio agency.

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In 2018, NSIA and Signature Agri Investments entered into a joint venture agreement to set up an agriculture-focused fund for the development of large-scale integrated projects across Nigeria.

Pandagric Novum is the flagship of this joint venture and was developed as a platform for diversification and a way to increase per capita protein consumption in Nigeria.

For his part, NSIA Managing Director Uche Orji said: “Agriculture is a key sector for the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and an important sector for the Nigerian economy with high potential for job creation, poverty alleviation and ultimately food security .”

Uche said that although the sector has historically been largely dominated by subsistence farming, the NSIA firmly believes that with improved modern methods, seedlings and better weather forecasting methods, agricultural yields could continue to rise.

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He explained that the NSIA, as the federal government’s investment institution, has a mandate to play a leading role in promoting sustainable economic development for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Orji said the agency’s goal is to develop Nigeria’s agricultural sector sufficiently to ensure increased production to meet local demand.

He said it is also the goal of the NSIA to develop the necessary infrastructure to ensure improved product quality, facilitate import substitution and provide an engine for foreign exchange earnings from agricultural product exports.

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