Wednesday, June 19, 2019 / 01.40PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: Proshare WebTV
Increased access to finance for smallholder farmers in Nigeria will drive productivity in crop production and the Agric sector in general across the country.
The Business Development Manager of AFEX Commodities Exchange, Mr. Akinyinka Akintunde, made this assertion at the maiden trading stories media workshop in Lagos.
Mr. Akintunde was of the view that with a robust and well-structured financing framework for the smallholder farmers, Nigeria could see a remarkable boost in food production.
He stated that the current lending structure of 4% from the banking sector to the Agric sector was lean for a sector that contributes over 20% to the nation’s GDP.
Akintunde noted that the maiden media workshop was designed to encourage investments and get more participation in the Nigerian commodities space.
The AFEX Business Development Manager highlighted the fact that the workshop provided an opportunity for Nigerians to be sensitized on the benefits of a thriving commodities market, and the trends that make for good reporting on the subject.
Since inception in 2014, AFEX, according to him, has been focused on addressing three issues which are; Finance, Inclusive Agriculture and Technology.
Speaking further, Akintunde cited the fact that AFEX has been engaging smallholder farmers in the country, to explore ways of providing low-cost financing, that will play a big role in uplifting them from poverty.
“We have evolved into developing a single portal that provides accurate and reliable information, on the activities in the commodities market as it concerns smallholder farmers,” Akintunde said.
Identifying the challenge of structures and visibility, which is affecting financing for smallholder farmers, the AFEX official stressed that the exchange is committed to creating an efficient and transparent commodities market system.
Also speaking at the event Mr. Boason Omofaye the Business Editor of Channels Television said he was excited that after two decades of his career, covering the financial and capital market the commodities exchange was beginning to take shape in the country.
He commended AFEX for its role as a reliable platform for accurate information on commodity prices in Nigeria.
Omofaye tasked AFEX to engage more with media houses in the country, by providing a daily wrap of the commodities market, which will create more awareness about the market.
He believed the commodities exchange has great prospects in Nigeria and will be a relevant driver of financial activities in the country.
The media workshop also featured presentations on “Data-driven Storytelling: Finding and Applying Data in News Reports and Features,” “Interpreting AFEX” and “Nigerian Commodity Market Outlook: AFEX Product Development.”