By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Government has said that it would upgrade the agricultural supply chain by connecting all the agricultural value chains with their markets with the establishment of the Eko-City Farmers Markets.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who disclosed this on Tuesday at a stakeholders meeting on the implementation of the Eko-City Farmers’ Market, noted that the Eko-City Farmers’ Market would be a platform for the best of the city’s producers to meet with consumers and end users suing the traditional and innovative development methods to showcase a well organised high quality market to meet the consumers’ increasing demand for farm produce.
Lawal pointed out that the objectives of the market are to connect producers and make shopping entertaining; to make produce accessible an affordable to consumers; to preserve the nutritional value of farm produce and to promote the “farm to fork” concept of the input and output policy of the State Government.
The Commissioner noted that farmers in the State lack direct access to markets, a situation that has led to them selling their produce to middlemen at rather ridiculous farm gate prices adding that the Eko –City Framers’ Market would help in eradicating this.
“Farmers in the State lack direct access to markets and this led to the selling of their produce to middlemen at ridiculous farm gate prices. Farmers that are able to penetrate the market find it difficult to break through cartels by the market associations. Therefore, they are forced to sell at the association dictated prices. These challenges have restricted many of the farmers to subsistent production,” he averred.
He stressed that it is the commitment of the State Government to make Lagos a 21st century economy and deliver change in the agricultural land space hence the introduction of the Eko City Farmers’ Market.
Lawal explained that the Eko- City Farmers’ Market is intended to increase productivity of farmers as well as create an avenue for inclusive business where farmers make more profit since they are selling directly to consumers.
According to the Commissioner, Government would provide a conducive environment and other needed services like cold storage for fish farmers, haulage and some logistics for farmers and vendors to market their produce.
“We are working towards building a 21st century economy; therefore, we should focus on creating a digitalized method of marketing. As a result, the Ministry will be partnering with a couple of financial institutions in providing ATM stands and POS payment machines for farmers to receive payment for their produce,” Lawal noted.
Lawal explained that the maiden edition of the Eko City Framers’ Market would hold on Sunday, 23rdFebruary, 2020 and subsequently holds every month.