Sanwo-Olu inaugurates classrooms in 20 LGAsBy Peter Egwuatu

Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange, LCFE has recorded another milestone as it has successfully screened a frontline player in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, Agvest Limited for listing of its N5 billion cashew nut contract through a  diversified financial instruments.

Under the proposed listing, financial instruments worth N1.5 billion with cashew nut as the underline assets  is scheduled to be offered to investing public through Commercial Papers (CP) and short term Exchange Traded Notes (ETN).

Addressing journalists in Lagos,  Agvest’s Managing Director, Mr Olabode Abikoye explained that the proceeds of the offer would enable Agvest to get both plantation and factory up and running in West Africa at the first instance.

According to him, Agvest shall commence with cashew aggregation on the spot market, issue Exchange Traded Note in the medium term and add value.

“ Our decision to list Cashew Nut contracts on the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is to enable private investors enjoy the benefits of quotation. We shall by this approach support the government’s drive to generate foreign exchange. We have 210 hectares of land as plantation in Iwo, Oyo State and we are working closely with Oyo State Investment and Public Partnership Agency (OYSIPA) to activate our plan.

“ As a listed product, our cashew shall always meet international standard as prescribed by the International Standard Organization (ISO)which requires good temperature, moisture level and grade. Many stakeholders in the commodities value chain in Nigeria operate in silos. One of our  company’s functions is to integrate the stakeholders in the value chain.” says Abikoye.

The Managing Director, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE), Mr Akin Akeredolu-Alenoted that Nigeria had  opportunities to earn robust income from cashew nut.

“ Nigerian cashew sector is dominated by smallholder farmers. numbered at about 25,000 and some commercial plantations, with an average cultivated area of 325,000 hectares, local processing industry is growing gradually while there is a significant rise in export due to increased awareness of export potential and processing opportunities. Other actors in the ecosystems include local buying agents, processors, exporters, and service providers.

“The challenges around the production and processing of cashew in Nigeria mainly centre around the primary production of cashew from aged trees . Thanks to scientific research, there has been a substantial improvement in seed varieties that have introduced improved varieties which present primary production efforts need to take advantage of the meet the improved quality requirements of the international market“ he said.

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The Chairman, Mega Group, Mr Sam Onukwue expressed optimism that LCFE would transform the commodities ecosystem and put it on the global map. He attributed one of the challenges that raw exporters face to inability to repatriate their funds back into the country.

The Nigerian cashew sector is dominated by smallholder farmers. numbered at about 25,000 and some commercial plantations, with an average cultivated area of 325,000 hectares, local processing industry is growing gradually while there is a significant rise in export due to increased awareness of export potential and processing opportunities. Other actors in the ecosystems include local buying agents, processors, exporters, and service providers.

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