â¦ Deploys warehouses across the country
By Emma Ujah, Abuja office manager
The Nigerian Commodity Exchange (NCX) engaged various stakeholders in the national agri-food sector, with the aim of bringing down soaring food prices across the country.
NCX spokesperson Chris Echikwu said the decision to synergize with relevant agencies to bring down food prices in the country was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.
The president said in his Independence Anniversary broadcast on October 1 that the activities of middlemen and hoarders were responsible for the unprecedented high food prices.
Mr Echikwu said that a team of stock exchange experts led by the Managing Director, Ms Zaheera Baba-Ari, had met with various farmers and producer associations in the largest food producing states of Benue, Kogi, Borno , Plateau, Anambra and Gombe, among others.
He said the team met with produce vendors from the Dawanau People’s Market in Kano, the Maize Association of Nigeria, the Association of All Farmers of Nigeria and warehouse owners who have pledged to participate. NCX operations with a view to updating the mandate of the president.
The MD was cited as the NCX was established by the government to provide Nigerian agro-food buyers and sellers “an organized trading platform where there will be price discovery and swarming small farmers can store their goods. products after harvest to sell them at a later date at which they will obtain remunerative prices.
âA major government goal for the establishment of NCX is to improve the livelihoods of farmers, increase economic productivity and create jobs for Nigerians, especially in the small and medium business sector,â thus increasing the country’s GDP. “
Ms Baba-Ari added that the consultations are also expected to attract patronage of NCX trading rooms by commodity traders and consumers across the country, as well as local and international investors with interests in Nigeria’s agribusiness.
She said: âThe Exchange is now ready to provide them with an efficient and profitable commodity trading platform. NCX would ensure the commercially viable supply of the required volumes of high quality products at the best market prices.
The managing director said that the exchange has deployed a network of warehouses in the six geopolitical zones of the country to support the purchase of sesame seeds, soybeans, corn, sorghum, cashews as well as paddy rice. and cowpea, among many other products. .
She said, âEach of the warehouses is supported by a quality analysis laboratory as a means of verifying the quality parameters of agricultural products stored for trade.
âYou may want to note that the Exchange has field staff domiciled in some major commodity markets in all geopolitical areas of the country.
âThis operational structure is designed to meet the requirements of exporters and local industries such as food processors who would thus have access to a year-round supply of high quality agro-food inputs in commercial quantities.
âThis configuration will also be of particular interest to farmers, producer associations and traders who would have an efficient platform for collecting their stocks. To this end, NCX will redouble its efforts to establish operational partnerships with relevant actors and groups in this segment of the Nigerian agrifood value chain across the geopolitical areas of the country.
NCX boss called on domestic and international investors interested in relevant segments of the country’s agricultural trade sector to join the Exchange to expand their business in commodity export, trade, warehousing , collateral management, logistics, financing, among others. “