Nigeria’s leading commodity player, AFEX, has partnered with agricultural investment company, South-West Agriculture Company (SWAgCo), and the Ogun State Government for the development of five thousand hectares (5000 ha.) for the production of multi-crops in the South-West region of Nigeria.
The partnership was announced at an MoU signing ceremony at the deal room of the Feed Nigeria Summit 2021. Focus crops for the partnership include cassava, rice and maize.
The Commissioner of Agriculture for Ogun State,Dr. Adeola Odedina, highlighted the alignment of the project with the ambitions for agriculture in the state,
“Our agricultural agenda as a state continues to be bold and exemplary, and this agreement is a very important step in that agenda. Together with AFEX and SWAgCo, we are creating a Staple Crop Zone as a vital part of the execution of the Special Agro-Industrial Zone (SAPZ) for the state, being developed in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).”
AFEX will deploy its exchange platform to both raise financing for the project and enable market access for the produce derived from the project.
“Our partnership with the Ogun State government and SWAgCo is integrating the private sector’s efficiency and innovation with the forward thinking plans and agenda of the government of Ogun state in a way that will create jobs and enable wealth creation for the country”, said Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX, while signing the tripartite agreement at the deal room of the Feed Nigeria Summit.
“As a commodities exchange and capital market player, we are able to deploy a blended finance product that will drive production and industrialization within the state, and help to achieve the mandate of the SAPZ,” he said.
Balogun said that AFEX’s goalis to create a way to triple the yields of staples to six – eight metric tons and continue to produce wealthy farmers for Nigeria, stating that the company would not stop in the South-West region but would spread its operations across all regions in Nigeria.
Although the project will be funded from both public, development as well as private and commercial sources, AFEX, as a commodities exchange, will be responsible for mitigating the project’s market risk by ensuring that the project’s output is guaranteed marketaccess.
MD/CEO of SWAgCo, BabajideArowosafe, said, “We are working with an institution like AFEX that is able to structure the agricultural food system in the country in a commercial way that delivers value to different operators in the value chain.”
“We have come into an alliance with AFEX to drive the SAPZ agenda in partnership with the Ogun State Government. We have a triplicate agreement – AFEX, SwagCo, and the Ogun State Government – to create the right platform for a seamless takeoff of the SAPZ agenda under commercial and private sector terms.
In the long run, we want to industrialize the agricultural space within the southwest and then for Nigeria as a country. We hope to have a partnership that encourages private sector operators to come in and benefit within the SAPZ agenda to deliver a more structured industrial revolution in the country,”Arowosafe said.
The execution of the agreement will strengthen all levels of agricultural activities in Ogun State, and help in job creation and the achievement of food security for the country.