The National Programme Coordinator of Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC), Mr. Patrick Abur has enlightened members on the modus operandi of the cooperative.
The Coordinator while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday cautioned members to be law abiding to reap the benefits of the Organization as he exposed them to the advantages of cluster farmers.
Abur appealed to members to exercise patience as the management has played it’s part by fulfilling the guidelines of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) while waiting for disbursement any moment soon.
He said “we have strong believe that the disbursement will be made in due course noting that SEIFAC on its part as a facilitator has fulfilled all the criteria enshrined in the CBN Anchor Borrower’s Programme Guidelines. This however calls for unwavering patience on the part of our members.”
The SEIFAC boss emphasized that their major objectives is to organize the Nigerian Smallholder Farmers who are scattered, less informed and ravaged by hunger and poverty like a stranded sheep without a herd and flock.”
According to him a group of Smallholder Farmers analyzed the worrisome situation of the Nigerian Smallholder Farmers and came up with the strategy of cluster farming called Agricultural Production Cluster (Agro-PC) having understudied the concept from developed and developing countries for a good number of years and believed on the adoption of same in the Nigerian context shall proffer a lasting solution to the plights of the Smallholder Farmers which the prototype domiciled the ownership of SEIFAC and her members.
He said “SEIFAC has carefully analyzed and reviewed the trend of agriculture globally and has come to the conclusion that agriculture in the twenty-first century is reinventing itself as a new global business reshaped by globalization, standardization, high-value production, massive growth in demand (both for the food and the biofuel industries), retail and packaging innovations, and a ramp up in efficiency.
Faced with constant productivity and market pressures, the ‘new agriculture’ needs tools to enhance its competitiveness and innovation capacity.
He explained that one of these tools is the promotion of clusters; An agro-based cluster (AC) simply a concentration of producers, agribusinesses and institutions that are engaged in the same agricultural or agro-industrial sub-sector, interconnect and build value networks when addressing common challenges and pursuing common opportunities.
Cluster Farming initiatives are starting to be seen as a key approach to help advance the agricultural sector of many countries. The promotion or inducement of such clusters has various advantages relative to other approaches. In particular, cluster approaches recognize that all the actors in the agricultural value chain are often more innovative and successful when they interact with supporting institutions and other actors in the supply chain.
By promoting vertical and horizontal links between local agricultural enterprises, as well as supporting relationships between them and facilitating organizations (e.g. local governments, research institutes and universities), cluster policies promote the diffusion of innovation, as well as the use and generation of important local externalities. Cluster Farming can also enhance access to credit facilities, machinery, quality inputs, advisory and extension services, storage and processing and markets.
Cluster policies are argued to be crucial for small-scale farmers and agribusiness, as they enable them to engage in higher productivity, and more market oriented and higher value-added production. Accordingly, central and local governments have discovered that cluster farming promotion is a valuable tool to support agricultural enterprises in their territory and help them link to global agricultural value chains in a more