Dr Abiso Kabir the Managing Director Wal-Wanne Group speaks with Agro News Updates on his plans for his Agro-Allied company. He also spoke on the company’s plan to export agricultural produce. He also highlighted the importance of some govt agricultural policies.
Can you tell us about Wal-Wanne Group?
Wanne Group is one of the leading Agro-Allied based companies in Borno State, with its head office in Lagos, and others in Abuja and Maiduguri. The company was incorporated in 2013 having as its commitment to make the country self sufficient in food production as one of the collaboration with the vision of the Government to diversify the country’s economy from total reliance on oil earnings.
Apart from agriculture, the company is also a household name in export and import; supply of hospital equipments as well as healthcare insurance services.
On its agricultural intervention project, Wal-Wanne embraced the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) which was launched in Gongolum Local Government Area of the state by the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima as flag-off of the commencement of the mass rice production by peasant farmers in the state.
Today, we are proud stakeholder in showcasing the agricultural policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration using the ABP as launch-pad, where participants are provided with farming implements, fertilizer, seedling and insecticide at highly subsidized rates.
The company cultivates vast hectares of farm land across seven local government areas in the state; Jere, Mafa, Biu, Chibok, Konduga, Ganbuwa and Monguno. Of course, the success of the ABP cannot be told without the measures of expertise injected into it in order to have better harvest, these are provided by the Chad
Basin Development Authority and the Lake Chad Research Institute who have been providing extension officers for their professional guidance.
What is your farm capacity, how many hectares are you using for cultivation?
The farm has capacity of accommodating over 13,000 farmers which means, a farmer is allocated to one hectare each. Currently, about 705 farm owners listed to participate in the Anchor Borrowers Programme under the platform of Wal-Wanne and Sons Limited regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Do you arrange trainings for these farmers regularly?
Yes, part of our condition to engage any farmer in our program, he/she must undergo training. From time to time, our farmers are meeting with our farm supervisors and agriculture extension offers to discuss matters arising regarding some difficulties and problems they are encountering, because our mission is to provide products and services that will be of value to the world.
In addition, the company exposed farmers to modern farming techniques to encourage high yields and reduce wastage, especially touching on dry season farming to boost yields. We have our training centres in Borneo, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Taraba, Bauchi, and Yobe States.
How do you source your rice seeds and how many tons of rice do you produce?
We source our rice seeds from accredited and certified input suppliers by Bank of Agriculture and Central Bank of Nigeria respectively. Our target expected yield per season is about 7,800 tons however, due to natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances, we performed far below expectations actually.
Do you source additional paddy from other farms?
Yes we do, this is another alternative we use to complement our failure (due to natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances) and also empower other farmers that became stranded with their goods in the competitive local rice market.
As a rice Miller, what do you have to say about the poorly processed local rice we have in the markets?
Most of the poorly processed local rice you see in the market today is as a result of low budget Rice Processing Mills and lack of technical knowhow as well. In this regard, there is need for Nigerian government to come in. Rice millers need serious support from government to improve their companies and enhance their production as well. Since government banned the importation of most of agricultural product which we produce here at home, they should make more effort in supporting agric investors to cope with the situation and to meet up with computing processed product.
As an exporter, what challenges do you face?
The major limitation associated to exporting products from Nigeria is lack of government support in almost the whole process. Therefore, we want government to come up with some policy strategy to enhance exportation especially in the area of agricultural products.
What is your take on the current border closure?
Closing border is the right decision taken by the government. Because by doing so, one can see clearly how the border closure boost agricultural productivity and encourage construction of industries related to processing local rice and other agricultural product to substitute what we used to import.
Is there any kind of Corporate Social responsibility provided for Borno indigenes by Wal-wanne group?
Walwanne Group is a success story of not only agricultural entrepreneurship but an epitome of corporate social responsibility. Shortly after the historic launching of three giant rice pyramids, containing almost 50,000 bags of rice, produced by local farmers in Borno State, through the loudable CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme. We
envisioned the establishment of Wal-Wanne Foundation, to provide assistance to
internally displaced persons ravaged by armed groups in the North east. The foundation provides skills training and seed funding to IDPS to enable them resettle to normal life. The foundation further uses part of profits from its ancillary services to buy and distribute food items, clothing and shelter to the displaced persons.The Foundation has donated goods worth millions of Naira to Borno IDPs .
What’s your target in the next 5 years?
Our target in the next five years is to be one of the leading exporters in Nigeria and indeed in West Africa. We are targeting Asian, Middle East and some European countries and America. In fact, we hope within five years, we want to reach the whole world with our goods from Nigeria.
Reach Us On:
Phone & WhatsApp: +2348188105921, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @update_agro