The Lagos State Government has revealed plans to enhance agricultural supply by connecting all the agricultural value chains through the establishment of Eko-City Farmers Markets.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this today at astakeholders meeting on the implementation of agricultural products outlets, noted that the Eko-City Farmers Market would be a platform for the city’s best entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector to meet with consumers and end-users through the traditional and innovative development methods, affirming that the well organised, high-quality markets will showcase farm produce to meet the consumers’ increasing demands.
Lawal pointed out that the objectives of the markets are to connect producers and make shopping entertaining; to make products accessible and 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 observed that farmers in the State lack direct access to markets and, therefore, sell their produce to middlemen at ridiculous farm gate prices, adding that the Eko-City Farmers Market was designed to eradicate high costs of agricultural products.
“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 subsistence production,” he averred.
He stressed that the State Government remains committed to making Lagos a 21st Century Economy through initiatives that will change the agricultural landscape, hence the introduction of the Eko-City Farmers Market.
Lawal explained that the Eko-City Farmers Market is designed to increase the productivity of farmers as well as create an avenue for inclusive business where they make more profit from direct sales to consumers.
According to the Commissioner, the government will create a conducive environment and other allied services like cold storage for fish products, 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 digitalised 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.
He stated that the maiden edition of the Eko-CityFarmers Market has been slated for Sunday, 23rd February 2020 and will subsequently hold every month.