The Managing Director, Elephant Group PLC., Mr Tunji Owoeye, has urged the Federal and State Governments to bring back Commodity Marketing Boards and ensure Commodity Exchange function efficiently.
Owoeye gave this advice in an interview ) in Lagos.
Elephant Group is a major stakeholder in the rice value chain and export of major agricultural produce.
According to him, so much has been injected in developing Agriculture sector in the last three years and bringing back the Commodity Marketing Boards is necessary to sustain the tempo.
”Why l believe that Marketing Boards should be brought back and ensure they are run efficiently and responsibly, is that in Nigeria production and sales are cyclical.
”During harvest, you have a lot of glut of most commodities because all of a sudden you have so much production that the market cannot absorb.
”And after harvest is gone, you have scarcity.
”The essence of a Marketing Board and Commodity Exchange is to manage the process of production, processing and marketing.
”Just to fill the gap between availability and non-avialbility.
”For instance, we used to have Cocoa Marketing Board.
”What Cocoa Board used to do then was to look at times of scarcity and glut, then intervene in those markets to ensure that farmers and the value chain stakeholders were not short-changed.
”They act as catalyst and mediators. I think that should come back,” he said.
Owoeye said that there were farmers and value chain stakeholders that had been in the industry for more than three, four and five decades.
He said that those stakeholders would be willing to support the government in ensuring that marketing Boards were revisited and made to function.