AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited has said that low interest loans to smallholder farmers will boost production in the agriculture sector.
The private commodity exchange company in Nigeria made the recommendation at the ‘AFEX 2021 Commodities Outlook’ conference. The summit aims at deepening the African commodities market by fostering market integration and data-driven trend analysis.
“Although policies geared towards achieving this are in place, proper policy design, monitoring mechanism, as well as adequate and robust regulatory framework that supervises the implementation and operation of the programme are also important,” AFEX said in a statement on Wednesday.
It would serve as a road map towards executing transformative actions for a viable commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria, facilitate the financial inclusion of farmers and boost access to market and quality inputs disbursement, AFEX explained.
The agriculture sector, it noted, suffered stunted growth in the second and third quarters of 2020.
“Business activity growth slowed by 1.58 per cent in Q2 as against 2.20 per cent in Q1 and further slowed by 1.39 per cent in Q3,” it stated.
Chief Executive Officer of AFEX, Ayodeji Balogun, said, “A commodity outlook review allows us to deliberate on key reforms and market dynamics relevant to a well-functioning commodities market. This is supported by comprehensive data points.
“It will boost the understanding and participation of market participants across the commodities market in Nigeria’s agriculture and financial sectors, including stakeholders and policy-makers. This platform will drive standards needed for a sustainable and profitable commodities trading ecosystem needed to tackle the looming food insecurity.”
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