The Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers And Exporters Association Of Nigeria (AFGEAN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) with Profitville Limited (trading as Buy-More Supermarket), Ikeja G.R.A, Lagos, for the opening of Farmers’ Market, where fresh farm produce would be sold directly by farmers to consumers. (AFGEAN Profitville Maidville Farmers MoU)
In this arrangement, Maidville Consulting Ltd, a trade support firm and a Globalgap (Licensed) Farm Assurer Company is the AFGEAN Farmers’ Market Manager and Administrator.
At the MoU signing, held at GRA, Ikeja, Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Maidville Consulting Limited, Ms. ‘Detoun Abbi-Olaniyan, who represented AFGEAN said the purpose of the market is to bring safe, healthy, fresh farm produce to the table of consumers, thereby creating a direct relationship between smallholder farmers and consumers.
“This is the first one in the series of our collaborations and it won’t be the last. We are already looking for similar collaborations on the Island and with a conducive environment, bigger than the present facility to attract more farmers. Some of the reasons farmers’ markets fail is because of location, accessibility and unstructured management. A location can go wrong if consumers were given consideration when taking decisions.
“We are bringing fresh farm produce to the table, by collaborating with Buy-More supermarket to deliver this value. The Farmers’ market is for everybody desirous of fresh produce. We have fashioned it in such a way that the relationship between AFGEAN Farmers’ Market and Buy-More Supermarket is complimentary. If someone is buying grocery, you can as well pick lettuce and other items instead of going to the open market. The market is for all categories of people, irrespective of their income or strata in the society. It is aimed towards providing safe, healthy and affordable fresh produce for everyone, as well as providing market access for growers,” she said.
Abbi-Olaniyan added that through the initiative, all-year-round cultivation of farm produce would be encouraged due to the fact that if farmers are assured of ready-made market at the farmers’ market, they would be willing to cultivate all-year-round, with the mindset of getting them sold.
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“If you look at vegetable, its not all-year-round produce, but if the farmers are assured that there will be values and market demand for them, then they would go all out to cultivate. Another thing we have done is to make the initiative a subscription package. Our market days are fixed throughout the year, this enables a farmer to plan for the year. Subscription is one of the key factors for success. “In addition, she reiterated that: “ We intend to open 100 similar outlets in Lagos alone over the next 36 months.”
On his part, the Co-founder of Profitville Limited, Mr. Peter Essien, who was optimistic that the collaboration would be mutually beneficial to all parties involved. He noted that having being in Ikeja for over six years the initiative would add more values to its customers.
“We have hoped to have such thing, and when the proposal for it came up, we were excited and we hope that all partners under our scheme would see value and benefit immensely from this partnership.
“The farmers have a lot to gain from this because they would have direct access to their customers, eliminate the middlemen, and feedback from customers would be direct. They would know that whatever they produce, there is ready-made market, there would be a lot of value-added to the farmers.