In a bid to revolutionise Nigeria’s agri-food export industry, JR Farms Africa, a renowned player in the African agribusiness landscape, unveiled its groundbreaking digital trade platform, ‘Food for Nations.’
The launch and unveiling of the ‘JR Food for Nations’ on Friday at SpaceNXT, Union Bank HQ in Marina Lagos, was graced by Olivier Becht, France’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, and according to him, it marked a pivotal moment in the collaboration between France and Nigeria within the agri-food sector.
“This platform marks a significant milestone in the area of strengthening ties between France and Nigeria,” Becht said, as he inaugurated the agri-food platform.
“France, with its rich culinary heritage and advanced technical know-how plays a pivotal role in harnessing the quality and diversity of food products from anywhere to the Nigerian market. And with 70 million hectares of underutilised arable land, Nigeria offers wealth of opportunities for both local and foreign investors eager to enhance agricultural productivity,” he added.
The inauguration, attended by dignitaries and stakeholders, including the French Minister, emphasised the transformative potential of the platform in harnessing the unformed interest of Nigerian youths in the agricultural space.
The discussions underscored the shift towards converting the vast potential in the agrispace sector into tangible outcomes, highlighting the platform’s role in driving this change.
Abisola Olusanya, commissioner of Agriculture for Lagos State, highlighted a pressing concern that threatens Nigeria’s agricultural progress: the scarcity of talent within the sector, as youths do not want to get into the agrispace.
According to her, Lagos State has created/formed the agri-innovation club which connects young, talented people who are doing fantastic things in the agrispace but who are not being celebrated.
She lauded Olawale Rotimi, CEO & founder of JR Farms, for the good work.
“We hope to have a better Nigeria, we hope to have a better Lagos, and we hope to have the youths like Olawale Rotimi drive the Nigerian food export market,” Olusanya said.
The French minister, recognising the significance of the ‘Food for Nations’ launch, emphasised its role as a crucial milestone in the bilateral collaboration between France and Nigeria in the agri-food domain.
The platform is envisioned as a catalyst for fostering robust bilateral relations and enhancing development in agriculture and agribusiness between the two nations.
During the event, Olawale Rotimi of JR Farms Africa, shed light on the challenges faced by agri-food exporters, citing fragmented efforts, lack of knowledge, limited access to export markets, standardisation issues, and difficulties in securing export finance.
In response to these challenges, JR Farms Africa developed the ‘JR Food for Nations’ platform, a comprehensive one-stop-shop export platform aimed at connecting agri-food exporters to essential services, and to the European Union.
Rotimi elaborated on the platform’s functionalities, emphasising its role in facilitating connections to various critical services such as access to markets, export finance, standardisation partners, and other export-related services.
The platform, available at www.foodfornations.com, will operate on a membership basis strictly for agri-food exporters, offering them the necessary resources and support to navigate the complexities of food exportation.
The initiative, which holds promising prospects for Nigeria’s agri-food export sector, seeks to streamline and empower them, providing them with a unified platform to access vital services crucial for expanding their reach into global markets.
With its ambitious objectives and comprehensive suite of services, ‘Food for Nations’ aspires to become a cornerstone in Nigeria’s quest to tap into the global agri-food market, fostering growth, efficiency, and innovation within the country’s agricultural export landscape.
Segun Awolowo, former executive director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said the platform will be a great game changer for the agro-export sector.
“During my tenure at the NEPC, I know how difficult it was to get our produce into Europe, particularly due to standard-related issues. This platform definitely solves this problem and I know it will be a key enabler for growth of our non-oil sector.”