The Agricultural Sector in Nigeria
The Agriculture Sector in Nigeria remains the foundation of the Nigerian economy despite the presence of oil in the country and has been a source of livelihood for most Nigerians. Over the years the sector has grown tremendously both domestically and internationally and with the renewed focus on the growth of the non-oil sector of the economy, the government has over the years developed policies geared specifically toward the improvement of the agricultural sector and encouragement of farmers and investors.
In the third quarter of 2023, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from Agriculture in Nigeria exhibited growth, reaching 5,698,270.51 NGN Million. This marked an increase from the second quarter of 2023 when it stood at 4,077,716.31 NGN Million. Over the period from 2010 to 2023, the average GDP from Agriculture in Nigeria was 4,108,712.17 NGN Million.
Notably, the third quarter of 2023 witnessed an all-time high of 5,698,270.51 NGN Million, while the first quarter of 2010 recorded a historic low of 2,594,759.86 NGN Million.
The sector over the years has been transformed by commercialization at the small, medium, and large-scale enterprise level, and the firm has been able to provide legal services across the entire value chain
With a close consideration of the major aspects of Agrobusiness which includes: Agricultural input, Agricultural production, Agricultural processing-manufacturing or agro-processing, and Agricultural marketing-distribution, the firm has actively advised on numerous innovations highlighted below;
- The use of rabbit urine as fertilizers and pesticides
- The use of orange-fleshed sweet potato as a way of reducing the cost of bread and confectionery production, an alternative to fruit juices, and a sustainable source of Vitamin A.
- The extraction and exploration of protein from insect.
- the extraction and refabrication of essential oils such as the extraction of essential oil from lemon grass.
“Innovations leading into life sciences”.
- The development of an innovative cooling solution in Nigeria, by pairing local companies with innovators to test new TCL cooling solutions that can increase efficiency, reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and improve accessibility by recording parameters like temperature consistency, Humidity control, Weight reduction, Commodity storage duration, reduction in Commodity losses and extended shelf life of the commodity.
- Development of a Smallholder Agricultural Commodities Export Program to optimize the productivity and quality assurance of Small Holders Farmer (SHF) by identifying inefficiencies in the agriculture value chain of specific export commodities such as collection, mechanization, and appropriate storage to provide for the availability of these efficiency factors as a means of assuring market acceptance and enhancing SHF earnings and living standards.
Within the industry, several finance structures that are project specific have experienced a lot of constructive measures and leveraging on these measures, the firm has worked with several companies and has been able to develop a legal structure as a foundation for creating a sustainable business that is not only impactful in their operations but also in the lives of the farmers who are major stakeholders in these projects which includes:
- Alternative Lending Scheme whereby the farmers who have farmlands, are provided with the tools, seedlings, pesticides, and all required materials for a full cycle of production up to point of off-taking, eventual sale, and profit sharing. The scheme is currently worth over USD 500,000 with over 10,000 farmers.
- A Five Billion (N5,000,000.00) value chain development program targeted towards the development of the poultry value chain production by collectivizing Small Holder Farmers (SHF) at the primary production segment of the value chain for both broilers and layers and leveraging existing poultry farm settlements in the State.
- Corporative initiatives involving the creation of several mortgages geared toward the provision of low-cost homes to farmers, and the provision of securities to ensure the day-to-day operations of the farmers.
- Creation of an alternative investment solution to traditional asset classes in the market environment for investors through the establishment of dedicated commodity notes as well as the development of commodity portfolios for the subscribers.
Agriculture is a vulnerable sector that in the ordinary sense has been shown and proven to be susceptible to pests, human factors, preservation issues, and other numerous issues the players regularly face to manage. In the last two years, however, by virtue of the pandemic, the bandwidth of these risks has expanded tremendously where appropriate reaction became necessary.
By virtue of the pandemic, the agriculture sector felt the impact across every subsector from livestock, forestry, fishing, and most especially crop production as there was a massive decline in demand for restaurant and commercial food services in combination with restrictions in labour, processing capacity and/or storage led to farmers discarding their output en masse. Although the effect of the pandemic in agriculture led to the frustration of numerous agricultural investments or partnerships as most of the players in the sector had to declare that whatever contract entered into, or obligation owed had been overtaken by a force majeure incident, it has also shaped the way the firm can provide advisory services to its clients now recognizing the possibility of critical outbreaks or pandemic and thereby adequately safeguarding the operations of its client through multiple layered documentation and operational policies. Furthermore, the firm has been able to:
- offer legal services and assist several farm management companies whose operations had been affected negatively by the pandemic in handling and managing claims arising from their numerous subscribers, investors, and partners.
- develop working strategies to mitigate such claims and the damages that may have been incurred by the company.
- support the companies by providing legal advice and assistance through representation in courts and at the offices of various law enforcement agencies.
The agricultural and consumer goods sector in Nigeria is experiencing a growing trend of globalization, with major organizations seeking to strengthen their presence and explore opportunities across diverse regions.
In this dynamic landscape, these enterprises require legal guidance and support from a firm that not only boasts a global footprint but also possesses an intricate understanding of local markets.
Our law firm stands out for delivering top-notch legal counsel across various jurisdictions. Whether it involves securing a new lease for a retail outlet in cross-border, negotiating distribution agreements, ensuring brand protection, offering employment advice or managing dispute resolution, our team is well-equipped to navigate the legal intricacies effectively.
We specialize in addressing crucial aspects for retail clients, including property acquisitions and leasing arrangements, handling commercial issues such as intellectual property rights and franchising, managing employment-related matters, ensuring compliance with regulations, and overseeing corporate governance.
Recognizing the distinct legal frameworks and business practices in each cross-border jurisdiction, our advice is meticulously tailored to be specific, fitting seamlessly, and nuanced to align with the unique local circumstances of our clients in the agricultural and consumer goods sectors.
Food Lawyers Network (FLN): The firm is pleased to be the sole representative in Nigeria within the Food Lawyers Network (FLN). As an engaged member of FLN, our firm is committed to supporting and assisting food business entrepreneurs, small farmers, farmers’ markets, restaurant owners, and more by providing pro-bono or reduced-cost legal services. Our exclusive position in Nigeria underscores our dedication to serving the local community and contributing to the growth and success of individuals and entities within the food industry.
International Bar Association- Agricultural Law Section (IBA-ALS): the firm through its principal is a committee member and officer of the Agricultural Law Section of the IBA, which is a newly formed sector that covers a comprehensive and dynamic legal practice area, particularly relating to agricultural land usage, ownership, and farmers right; seed law, plant variety law, biotechnology/ GMO law; food trade, food safety, and food liability.
– The Firm has advised on the establishment of the first One Billion Naira (N1,000,000,000) Nigerian Agricultural Industrial Park;
– The firm has advised on the acquisition of 2,748.68 hectares of farmland for the cultivation of Agro produce in Oyo State.