The Africa Director for the Afex Commodities Exchange Limited, (AFEX) Mr Ayodeji Balogun, says easy access to finance by farmers and the application of technology could revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria.
He stated this at a one-day workshop themed, “CodeCashCrop” organised by Afex Commodities Exchange Limited in collaboration with Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL),in Lagos.
The workshop brought together practitioners in technology, finance and agriculture for effective collaboration in order to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.
“I think this initiative is going to be one of a series. We are excited about the brands that showed up here, to deliberate on the opportunities that will evolve when these three segments of the market that before now worked individually, come together to co-create and co-think around the problem within the space, but more importantly around the solutions, and how everybody can fashion out a way of bringing business opportunities,” Balogun said.
According to him, the non-application of technology in agriculture in the country was a major challenge in the sector.
He however expressed optimism that that if properly harnessed, technology could help create wealth across all value chains in the agricultural sector.
He stated that Afex Commodities Exchange Limited had been able to organize rural farmers into bankable groups, provide finance for farmers and construct storage facilities as well as invested in technology through the provision of a trading platform for farmers to sell off their goods at reasonable prices.
“We invested very heavily in technology, and we have a trading platform running live now where traders, and buyers and financiers can connect remotely wherever they are, within or outside the country and then transact. Technology is a strong enabler to bring marriage between finance and agriculture to fruition,” the AFEX Director added.
A Senior Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Ayomide Akindolie, stated that the organisation had been working in Nigeria and across the globe on issues relating to development and agriculture.
She added that the organisation had been providing strategic advisory services on development and agriculture in countries where it was operational.