Access to Finance Supports Value Seeds Limited to Supply over 500,000 Farmers with Certified Seeds
Value Seeds Limited, an agricultural seed company, works in northwest Nigeria to strengthen the reliability of the seed sector for staple crops such as cowpea, maize, rice and soybeans and to sustainably supply seeds to its network of more than 500,000 farmers. In addition to producing seeds on their farm in Kaduna State, Value Seeds Limited runs an out-grower scheme of over 4,000 farmers, providing education on good agronomic practices, supplies, inputs and monitoring agricultural productivity and quality for seed production and multiplication.
As they sought to expand their operations during the 2021 season, Value Seeds Limited partnered with the USAID-funded Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity, implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), to apply for and secure credit worth 1 billion Naira ($2.63 million) from Sterling Bank Plc under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).
The Activity worked with Value Seeds Limited to ensure that they could meet the risk criteria set by Sterling Bank Plc by conducting an audit and environmental impact assessment of the company’s operations. They then provided recommendations on ways the company could improve its processes and environmental impact in order to qualify for the loan.
“Since 2019, a key condition for securing bank loans has been the ability to present an environmental impact assessment report,” said George Zangir, Managing Director of Value Seeds Limited. “However, we were finding it difficult to get the right experts for the assessment at the cost that was expected.
“To address this challenge, the Activity supported us to conduct this assessment and obtain a positive report, enabling us to receive the loan we applied for in a timely manner and to bolster production while minimizing impact to the environment.”
The financing from the new loan allowed Value Seeds Limited to boost support to their out-grower farmers and increase the production of certified seeds produced, cleaned, processed, packaged and sold to smallholder farmers, large-scale farms, agro-input dealers, development organizations, producer associations, farmer cooperatives and government entities across Kaduna, Niger and Benue states.
With a projected yield of about 1 billion Naira ($2.63 million) in turnover, Value Seeds Limited can further its goal of producing quality seeds and supporting growth in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, ensuring greater food security for communities across the country.
The Activity will also continue its goal to strengthen access to agribusiness finance and investment for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) like Value Seeds Limited by building the capacity of financial institutions to fund agribusiness MSMEs, catalyzing access to credit and investments and supporting MSMEs across Nigeria’s agricultural sub-sectors to ensure they are investment ready.