No less than 50,000 farmers are targeted to benefit from the agricultural funding initiative led by AFEX Commodities Exchange Ltd.
The funding plan for farmers was disclosed by AFEX’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ayodeji Balogun in Abuja shortly after the international conference on the Nigerian commodities market organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
While speaking on the theme, ‘Commodities trading ecosystem: Key to diversifying Nigeria’s economy,’ Balogun said that with the agricultural sector employing about 40% of labour force, there was a need to unlock funding for the sector in order to enable the government effectively diversify the economy.
He made known that the Exchange had supported over 100,000 farmers and about $50 million transactions across 15 states in the country had been recorded.
Balogun’s words: ‘’AFEX has since reached and enhanced the livelihoods of over 100,000 farmers and aggregated 100,000 metric tons of grains with the organisation’s overarching strategy of a national trading platform and supply chain network in carefully identified value chains.
“Through this, farmers and commodity merchants can access the financial markets. So when you focus on agricultural commodities exchange, beyond being 25 per cent of our economy and employ the latest pool in the country, it is actually one that can give us the kind of inclusive growth that we need.
“This is why the administration has focused very heavily on the agricultural sector.
“We would be unlocking finance to about 50,000 farmers across states. This, we will do by partnering with the capital market as well as some microfinance institutions that provide financing for the structures that we have created.”
What you should know: AFEX is Nigeria’s first private sector commodity exchange firm established in 2014 under the aegis of the Africa Exchange Holdings Limited. AFEX basically deals in the securitization of agricultural products.