Cooperative and collective effort is required to ensure a sustainable agribusiness, although various Apex Cooperative has been in existence in 2SCALE project vegetable clusters across the states in Nigeria, CIA-GED being dedicated to support and follow up on the sustenance agribusinesses was in attendance for the three days training by ICRA on establishing a Business Development Forum (BDF) across these Apex bodies. The essence of the BDF is to ensure that the gaps and challenges faced by these clusters can be filled through a collective effort of the forum to ensure the stability of these clusters after 2SCALE project phase out.
Representatives from each vegetable clusters met at Akure, South West Nigeria for capacity development training coupled with Organisation Development Training (ODT). From the perspectives of the participants present it was observed that 2SCALE project has facilitated improved organisation capacity, market linkages (notably is the link with AACE foods), business development of these vegetable clusters through empowerment training, technical support on field through demo plots, capacity building training, and business linkages meetings sponsored and facilitated by 2SCALE, IFDC and ICRA.
A Working Group Session (WG) showe the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspiration and Result) of these vegetable clusters, the representatives presented these SWOTs, while others contributed on how the strength can be adopted in their own clusters and how to overcome the weaknesses highlighted. The SWOT and SOAR also gave the participants insight to other opportunities that can be explored in their activities, and the likely threats they may face, what their aspirations should be to arrive to a predetermined result. It was noted that it is crucial to establish a collective and cooperative forum for a sustainable vegetable agribusiness development in South West, Nigeria towards ensuring sustainability of these agribusiness after 2SCALE phase out.
The vegetable Business Development Forum will ensure vegetable agribusiness value chain development in South West, Nigeria, bridge gender gap, improve access to land, reduce bottlenecks in agriculture, increase production output, provide market linkages, improved access to quality seeds, easy access to farm inputs like labour, which is a major issue in farming in the South West region of Nigeria and serve as a bedrock for other developments.