• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Lagos CADP establishes internet facilities to market farm produce

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To facilitate farmers’ access to markets, locally and internationally, the Lagos State Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) has established internet facilities in designated centres within the state.

These centres called Market Information Kiosks (MIKs) are designed to provide fast, reliable internet access and a variety of services to promote agribusinesses. According to Kehinde Ogunyinka, the state’s project co-ordinator at the launching of the MIKs, the Lagos CADP website hosting MIK is to provide internet based database system, available for access globally.

Ogunyinka said: “The site will disseminate updated market price information to subscribers, search and post offers to buy or sell. Any registered user can upload an offer to buy or sell a commodity through their mobile phone or the web. The offer is posted online and available to anyone worldwide.”

According to the project co-ordinator, in addition, the site will publish agricultural fact sheets, agribusiness manuals, newsletters, agribusiness analysis – trends, market studies. The site will also provide assistance for web research prices of products, offers available and contacts.

In addition to the basic services of providing access to up-to-date and accurate market information, the MIKs can also provide typical cybercafé services such as web browsing and business centre such as typing, printing, photocopying, etc.

The target market is primarily farmers/producers of agricultural produce, traders and marketers, producers/processors’ organisations, traders organisations and any individual interested in buying or selling produce. However, the MIKs are also expected to serve government ministries, departments and agencies, research institutions, international development agencies such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development DFIDs, NGOs, research students and some other businesses in designated centres. These Lagos CADP market information kiosks are located in high production areas and output markets across the state. It is operated under public-private partnership arrangements with start-up finance provided by the government.

The MIKs have been launched in Agege Main Market in Agege, Aiyetoro Market in Epe and Ayangburen Market in Sabo Ikorodu, and have commenced operations.

CADP is aimed at strengthening agricultural production systems and facilitating access to market for the value chains of rice, poultry and aquaculture among small and medium scale commercial farmers.

Ogunyinka said the idea of MIKs was initiated by Lagos CADP to achieve the set goal of improving access of participating small and medium scale commercial farmers to output markets, saying “MIK is an institutional arrangement that is needed to make markets work better for farmers, in order to lower transaction costs, improve market co-ordination and ensure availability of price information.”

MIK is a platform designed to provide interaction for stakeholders/users’ access to reliable and current information on agricultural produce/products availability, sourcing and prices of selected value chain to the national and international market at affordable rates.

Worldwide, market information is needed by farmers to choose what commodities to produce, what technologies to apply for production, when to produce, for whom to produce and when and what price to produce. So, the overall objective of the state CADP is to strengthen agricultural production systems and facilitate access to market for targeted value chains (aquaculture, poultry and rice) among small and medium scale commercial farmers in Lagos state.

Therefore, farmers and other commodity value chain actors such as input suppliers, traders, brokers, processors and consumers will be provided with reliable and timely marketing information and intelligence, and other services that would enhance their bargaining power and competitiveness in the marketplace, nationally and internationally. This, expectedly would solve the problem of large price fluctuations from one area to the other within the state and within the country .

According to Ogunyinka, the services will be billed to users at very affordable prices, competitive with current market prices. The fee collected is to guarantee sustainability of LAGOS-CADP-MIKs, but low enough to be affordable to all.

He also said the market information service would be operated as a wholly public enterprise, through private-public franchise agreement. The franchisees will operate the MIKs with support from the government so as to provide customers with information that will enable them have the best value for their agricultural commodity trade. The photos of commodities available in the designated markets are already being taken for online advertisement and access to global markets for interested farmers, produce marketers and other businesses.

 

OLUYINKA ALAWODE