By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) has screened Agvest Ltd. for listing of its N5 billion cashew nut contracts by diversified financial instruments.
The financial instruments would be offered to the investing public through Commercial Papers (CP) and short term Exchange Traded Nites (ETN).
Agvest’s Managing Director, Mr Olabode Abikoye, said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
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.
He said the company would commence with cashew aggregation on the spot market.
“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 Organisation 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,” Abikoye said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, LCFE, Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale, noted that Nigeria had opportunities to earn robust income from cashew nut.
“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 hectare.
“The local processing industry is growing gradually while there is a significant rise in export due to increased awareness of export potential and processing opportunities,” said Akeredolu-Ale.
He added that other actors in the ecosystems included 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 to meet the quality requirements of the international market,” Akeredolu-Ale said.
The Chairman, Mega Group, Mr Sam Onukwue, expressed optimism that LCFE would transform the commodities ecosystem and put it on the global map.
Onukwue attributed one of the challenges that raw exporters faced to their inability to repatriate funds to the country.
He said the listing would enhance the country’s Gross Domestic Product, create foreign exchange and as well boost employment.
Agvest is an investment company focused on proprietary investment in critical assets and infrastructure that make for efficiency in the agriculture value chain including, irrigation, mechanisation, storage, post-harvest handling, intermediate processing and logistics. (NAN)