The Village Market is deploying technology to eliminate middlemen regarded as the major factor responsible for the high cost of foodstuff and other agro commodities in the country.
The Founder of Village Market, an e-market platform, Mrs Aderemi Olanrewaju Sanni-Banjo, who made this assertion during an exhibition organised by the firm in Lagos, said the activities of the middlemen in the process of bringing produce from the villages to urban centres have massively impacted prices of foodstuff.
Sanni-Banjo said the concept of Village market is to eliminate the middlemen by connecting farmers in the villages and bringing farm produce to Lagos at cheaper rates.
He said: “Agric marketing is what matters now; our vision is to eliminate the middlemen. We want to contact farmers and bring food directly to Lagos. Already, we have some farmers and processors working with us in Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti as well that we are bringing their products directly to Lagos, but they are not much, we are expanding.
“For now, our products are within the range of five to 10 per cent cheaper than what usually come from middlemen, we are trying to get cheaper prices, but one of the major problems is transportation, from the village to the urban centre, it costs so much to bring foodstuff to Lagos. We have a seven-point agenda, one of which is Logistics-we are also trying to bring-in people who are in the logistics business to come into this strategic movement so that we can assist in dropping the high prices.”
She confirmed that her platform took advantage of the online selling during coronavirus pandemic lockdown, “we were able to sell, we were able to move and we experienced a very high percentage of sales. For that short time, what we sold was quite enormous and encouraging because that was the period those who don’t know us, got to know us.
“Everyone is talking about ‘new normal,’ but we are looking at ‘Better normal.’ We want to move from new normal to better normal, the fact that our open markets are not well organised, and the long distance to get to the markets, to us we think this is the better normal for us to latch-on.
“Most of our young people are now working from home, they don’t have time to go to the market, many of our mothers, this is the best thing anybody could do for now.”
Sanni-Banjo, however, said the major challenge confronting online marketing is the fact that not too many people have access to the Internet,” the cost of internet as well, low level of literacy and lack of integrity, among others.”