AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities market player has partnered with the Niger State Ministry of Agriculture and the Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Agency (NSCEPA) to improve the productivity and livelihoods of farmers in the state while empowering youths.
The partnership was announced at an MoU signing ceremony in Minna, Niger State recently.
The partnership will see AFEX developing processing facilities including a sesame cleaning center in Lapai/Agaie.
It will also include the deployment of operations that will enable financial inclusion for Niger state farmers alongside the provision of storage and extension services that will facilitate crop standardization and protection.
As a party in the MoU, AFEX will also deploy its Agric Service Provider model in the state, which would include supporting, training, and financing other commercial agriculture service providers in the state.
“Nigeria’s rural and market potential is being harmed by a combination of financial and infrastructure inadequacies,” AFEX CEO Ayodeji Balogun said in a statement.
“Infrastructure shortfalls are mostly related to the unavailability of adequate and affordable storage for farmers, among other things,” he explained.
“Limited financing also has an effect on the value chain from a demand and supply standpoint.”
Balogun indicated that with the partnership with the state’s Ministry of Agriculture and the its Commodity and Export Promotion Agency, things are about change positively for farmers in the state.
“We are on a mission to increase the productivity and livelihoods of farmers in Niger State,” Balogun said.
Fatima Wushishi ,the director general of NSCEPA, said the strategic partnership with AFEX will provide technical expertise, finance, direct markets to farmers.
Also, he said, “technology and warehouse management and crop handling infrastructure and grading standards required to aggregate and trade commodities in a formal structured and standardized manner.”
“This will ensure quality, consistency and safety of the goods from the farm gate to the destination markets both domestic and international,” Wushishi said.
“Look forward to working with AFEX towards achieving common economic developmental goals thereby supporting the State government in realizing its vision of the export-led transformation of the Niger State economy.”
AFEX, known for its vision to make Africa self-reliant in food, has over 300,000 farmers and 100 agri-businesses registered on its Exchange and has significantly reduced the level of market fragmentation in several states of operation while creating shared prosperity for all stakeholders.
The exchange, through its technologies – WorkBench and ComX – is helping track and store relevant data for players in the space to make better-informed decisions. It has also effectively implemented a working formula that creates the avenue for farmer financing as well as working capital financing for agribusinesses, through innovative products listed on its exchange.