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Tomato Jos Receives $1.2 Million Support From USAID

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Tomato Jos Receives $1.2 Million Support From USAID-Crystal News

Tomato Jos, Nigerian agro-processing company focused on the local production and processing of tomatoes has diversified its operations venturing into the grains sector.

Under the new move, the private equity-backed, fast-growing social enterprise is seeking to boost the productivity, incomes, and resilience of maize and soybean smallholder farmers in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna State.

The company has received a N494 million (US$1.2 million) co-investment grant from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) to facilitate the venture.

According to Trade Hub, Kaduna State is home to approximately 1.3 million farming families, many of whom farm both maize and soybean, two of Nigeria’s staple crops.

However, domestic production of these grains is failing to meet the high market demand because of several limitations faced by farmers, including outdated farming techniques, limited awareness of the market’s quality demand, and a lack of funds to improve their farming practices.

To address these challenges, Tomato Jos will leverage its grant and approximately N3.3 billion (US$8 million) of private funds to launch a 3-year maize and soybean out grower project in northern Nigeria.

The project will benefit 4,000 smallholder farmers who will work as out growers (also known as contract farmers) with Tomato Jos. Sixty percent of the out growers will be women and at least 40 percent youth.

“Leveraging private investments to finance smallholder farmers is key to driving inclusive economic growth in Northern Nigeria,” says Mira Mehta, founder of Tomato Jos. “We are proud to partner with the Trade Hub on this innovative project.”

The 4,000 smallholders will be trained on modern farming techniques to ensure their crops’ quality and increase their productivity.

Tomato Jos Receives $1.2 Million Ssupport From USAID

As many smallholders currently lack the capital to fully run their farm, loans will also be offered. These loans, combined with a guaranteed offtake of the crops through Tomato Jos, will provide a much-needed financial backstop to the smallholders, particularly for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through these efforts, smallholders’ will be able to produce 3,600 metric tons of maize by the third year of the project, and 400 metric tons of soybean.

The co-investment will also be used to assist Tomato Jos in improving its operations and productivity.

The company will expand its storage capacity for grains, source improved inputs for greater yields, and increase its model farm and out grower programs to cover more locations for maize and soybean farming.

Tomato Jos will also develop its mobile and cloud technology platforms for data capturing, farm monitoring, and improved communication.

“Nigeria has seen its outputs of maize and soybean decline in recent years and efforts to counter this have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thus, it is vital to assist companies such as Tomato Jos to help farmers increase production of these two staple crops and support food security,” says Karl Littlejohn, Acting Chief of Party for the Trade Hub.

The Trade Hub’s partnership with Tomato Jos builds on its other recently launched partnerships in Nigeria, such as ones with PYXERA Global and Thrive Agric, also focused on increased maize and soybean production.

The financial backing comes a year after the agribusiness firm, completed its US$4.2m Series A funding round led by Goodwell Investments, via its West Africa partner Alitheia Capital with participation from Acumen Capital Partners and VestedWorld.

The funding was channelled towards spearheading its transition to the next stage of growth which will entail the processing and distribution of tomato products.

Tomato Jos’ growth plans include the installation of a drip irrigation system and a processing plant that can produce 24 tons of finished products per day.

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Prepaid Card Transaction Value To Exceed $4.1 Trillion By 2026 Globally

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Prepaid Card Transaction

… As Financial Inclusion Drives Usage

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the value of transactions made over prepaid cards will exceed $4.1 trillion globally in 2026; up from $2.3 trillion in 2021 – a substantial growth of 75%.

By 2026, prepaid card transaction value will be just over 50% higher than that forecast for contactless payment transactions; illustrating the importance of this market.

The growth in prepaid cards will be driven by the ongoing replacement of cash, as economies move increasingly towards digital payments.

The research identified prepaid cards as being critical to ensuring that the unbanked are included in the rush for digital payments. The research recommends that vendors focus on building robust distribution platforms that can cope with issuing cards at scale and at low cost, or they will lose out to better-equipped vendors.

For more insights, download the free whitepaper: Prepaid Cards ~ Advancing Financial Inclusion

Prepaid Cards Driving Significant Fee Revenue

The new research, Prepaid Cards: Trends, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, found that the growth of the prepaid market will present a significant revenue opportunity for prepaid card platforms, with fee revenue reaching over $32 billion globally in 2026, from $22 billion in 2021. The report recommends that focusing on critical capabilities, such as restricted authorisation, which enables issuers to specify where funds can be spent, will pay dividends in the longer term.

Research author Nick Maynard explained: “Tools such as restricted authorisation and digital issuance will enable prepaid cards to benefit from the evolution of traditional gift cards into full-blown prepaid cards, driving significant revenue.”

US Is Largest Prepaid Market, but Other Opportunities Emerging

The research found that while the US will account for over 43% of global transaction values in 2026, there are other significant opportunities emerging. China is seeing increasing prepaid use, and as international tourism recovers, prepaid cards for travel money can benefit. The report also highlighted emerging markets as a key area of interest and recommended that platforms form partnerships now in order to best exploit future opportunities.

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Chinmark’s FinAfrica, Poyoyo Are Fraud, SEC Warns

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FinAfrica

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned members of the public not to deal with FinAfrica Investment Limited owned by Marksman Chinedu Ijiomah and Poyoyo Investment (Pilvest) Nigeria Limited.

Marksman Chinedu ijiomah, the Chairman/President of Chinmark, under which one of its subsidiaries (FINAFRICA INVESTMENT LIMITED) operates an investment scheme, uses the power of his huge Facebook followership of over 300,000 to advertise his companies and activities, as shown in a cursory look at his social media wall.

SEC in a public statement published on it’s website stated that the company operating the fake investment scheme is not registered and that the investment scheme promoted by the entities are also not authorized.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria (“SEC”) has been drawn to the activities of an Illegal Operator (FINAFRICA INVESTMENT LIMITED).

“The Company claimed to be an Investment Company that engages in Business Development in Commercial sectors of the economy and uses the funds in entities under Chimark Group.

“The Commission hereby notifies the investing public that neither FINAFRICA INVESTMENT LIMITED nor Chimark Group is registered by the SEC and the Investment Scheme promoted by these entities are also not authorized by the SEC.

“In view of the above, the general public is hereby WARNED that any person dealing with the within named Company in any capital market related business is doing so at his/her own risk”.

SEC says Chinmark Group owned by Marksman Chinedu Ijiomah is fraud

In the same vein, SEC described the business of Poyoyo Investment (Pilvest) Nigeria Limited as a “Ponzi scheme”, where returns are paid from other people’s invested sums.

The commission said its attention had been drawn to the electronic and WhatsApp messages being circulated to investors on behalf of Poyoyo Investment (Pilvest) Nigeria Limited.

In one of the messages, Pilvest said it offers a 20% return on investment (ROI) on a minimum capital of N100,000 invested for a period of one a month.

“The Commission hereby notifies the investing public that Poyoyo Investment (PILVEST) Nigeria Limited have no tangible business model; hence it is a PONZI SCHEME where returns are paid from other people’s invested sum. Also, its operation is not registered by the Commission,” the circular reads.

 

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Black Market Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today 6th December 2021

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Daily black market (Lagos parallel market) exchange rates for dollar to naira can be accessed here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the exchange rate changes hourly.… it depends on the volume of dollars available and the Demands. What it means is that…you can buy or sell 1 dollar at ₦565 and the price can change (high or low) within hours.

Crystal News has obtained the official dollar-to-naira exchange rate in Nigeria today including the Black Market rates, Bureau De Change (BDC) rate, and CBN rates.

December 6 dollar to naira official market exchange rate: $1 dollar to naira =₦413.85

How Much Is Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today Official Rate?

The exchange rate between the Naira and the US dollar according to the data posted on the FMDQ Security Exchange where forex is officially traded showed that the naira opened at ₦413.85 per dollar on Monday, 6 December 2021, after it closed at ₦414.73 per $1 on Friday, 3 December 2021. This represents a change of -0.05.

How much is Exchange Rate of Dollar to Naira in Black Market today?

The Nigeria parallel market (black market dollar exchange rate today) to the Nigerian Naira is as follows: For the Lagos market (black market).

LAGOS PARALLEL MARKET RATES December 6 2021 (BLACK MARKET): dollar to naira exchange rate today black market

December 6 dollar to naira black market exchange rate: $1 dollar to naira = ₦565

Lagos parallel market (black market dollar exchange rate today)

The local currency opened at N565.00 per $1 at the parallel market otherwise known as the black market, today, Monday, 6 December 2021, in Lagos Nigeria after it closed N565.00 per $1 on Friday, 3 December 2021.

Even though the dollar to naira opened in the parallel market at ₦565 per $1 today, Crystal News reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognise the parallel market, otherwise known as the black market. The apex bank has therefore directed anyone who requires forex to approach their bank, insisting that the I&E window is the only known exchange.

Crystal News reports that at the black market, the players buy a dollar for N560 and sell for N565 on Monday morning, December 6, 2021 after they bought N560 and sold for N565 on Friday morning, December 3.

Meanwhile, Crystal News reports that the USD started this week at ₦565 in Parallel Market also known as Black Market on Monday, December 6, 2021 in Lagos Nigeria, after it opened at ₦558 last week Monday, November 29, 2021.

Disclaimer:Crystal News does not set or determine forex rates. The official NAFEX rates are obtained from the website of the FMDQOTC. Parallel market rates (black market rates) are obtained from various sources including online media outlets. The rates you buy or sell forex may be different from what is captured in this article.

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