HOW SOCIAL MEDIA SHAPE INVESTMENTS IN AGRIBUSINESS, TOURISM AND SME SERVICES IN KEBBI
The launch of Anchor Borrowers Farming Program by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015 resulted in creating a new image for Kebbi State in many ramifications.
Prior to that Many People hardly locate Kebbi State in the Country’s map due to absence of robust activities from the State ; situated at the extreme corner of the North Western Nigeria.
Despite having comparative advantage as the State with vast fadama land, River Niger and it’s tributaries, Arable land capable of producing all manner of Agricultural commodities, adoned with enormous tourism and travels potentials, solid minerals resources as well as holding Position as the 2nd largest Producer of Livestock in the Country. Yet Kebbi’s potentials remained untapped, unexplored and relatively unknown.
The last time Argungu International Fishing festival took place was in 2009. It normally placed Kebbi on the global map for the entire period it lasted. Other notable attractions to the State however remained passively at lowest ebb.
Soon after the Presidential launching of the Anchor Borrowers Farming Program targeting Rice and Wheat, Rice Mills began to spring up in various shapes and sizes. Labana was joined by WACOT, Dangote, Lolo, Lake, Kabawa, Khalifa, Makat and several others who responded to the call by Mr President to key into the diversification agenda.
Within the period under review, Social Media became awashed with activities and happenings as well as the contribution of Kebbi State to the Agricultural value chain of Nigeria. MOU with Lagos State Government that targets mass Agricultural commodities production for Lagos markets spurs robust farming activities across Kebbi State ; resulting in attaining over 2 million Metric tons of rice annually.
The stories of Madam Joy Ejaria, Mr Oluwadahunsola Taiwo, Thomson Ekenimi, Akin Alabi of Corporate Farmers are living testimonies and reference points to the powers of social media in attracting and shaping the flow of Investments to Kebbi State : more especially in Agriculture, ICT and other Small Scale Entreprises.
Mrs Joy Ejaria has never been to Kebbi State until late last year (2018) when she landed at Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport on arrival from Lagos. Her mission to Kebbi State was to venture into farming business despite being a Professional Beautician. True to her words, Madam Joy not only secured more than 70 hectre Farmlands in Dutsin Mari and Ubandawaki in Koko Besse and Kalgo LGAs for Rice and Groundnut farming this year ; She also found Kebbi very hospitable, accommodating and comfortable with steady power supply which resulted in securing an apartment for her entire family members making Kebbi a second home.
The same could be said of Mr Taiwo Oluwadahunsola who decided to install a medium Scale Rice Mill at Yauri in addition to initiating an Out grower Scheme for over 500 farmers in Zagga and Bagudo axis too.
From February to November 2019, more than 200 potential investors have either placed orders for Rice, Soya Beans, Shea Nuts and Butter, Sorghum, Maize, Onions, Fish and Livestock or made purchases all through Corporate Farmers International and Kebbi Agric Social Media Platform.
Mr Akin Alabi of Corporate Farmers International based in Lagos described Kebbi State as an investment heaven where opportunities welcome investors with open arms.
In similar fashion, what Mr Jacob Shekarau has been putting up in the Shea Commodity Value Chain has attracted the attention of Global Shea Alliance, US based Corporate Council on Africa, AAK, Body Shop and Several Cosmetic Companies from within and outside West Africa.
Harvest Plus ; a bio – fortified Company too made it’s mark in Kebbi by providing capacity building and foundation seeds of Fortified Maize to over 250 Youth across 21 Local Government Areas as part of their efforts to engage participants in productive ventures as well as offer support to nutrition needs of our children.
It is also worthy of note that strategic collaboration with Agencies such as Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank, FACAN, GSA and others will no doubt pave the way of taking Agriculture to the Next level that will bring about rapid economic growth and development centred around Agricultural commodities value chain.
Kebbi Agric Social Media under the Mentorship of Hon Abubakar Bagudu (Dallatun Kalgo) will continue to showcase the abundant potentials of Kebbi State for the Global Community to appreciate and explore to the fullest.
Abubakar Aliyu Gwandu
Kebbi Agric Social Media Forum