LASG to launch farmers’ markets for easy access to consumers
By Anthony Okafor
Lagos State Government has concluded plans to upgrade the agricultural supply chain with the launch of Eko-City Farmers Markets, aimed at making agricultural produce easily accessible to consumers.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the Eko-City Farmers’ Market, said that farmers in the state lacked direct access to markets, a situation that has led to selling of produce to middlemen at rather ridiculous farm gate prices, adding that, “Eko–City Farmers’ Market would help in eradicating this.”
Lawal, noted that the initiative would also be a platform for the best of the city’s producers to meet with consumers and end users suing the traditional and innovative development methods to showcase a well organised high quality market to meet the consumers’ increasing demand for farm produce.
He stressed that the objectives of the market are to connect producers and make shopping entertaining; to make produce accessible and affordable to consumers; to preserve the nutritional value of farm produce and to promote the “farm to fork” concept of the input and output policy of the state government.
According to Lawal, “Farmers that are able to penetrate the market find it difficult to break through cartels by the market associations. Therefore, they are forced to sell at the association dictated prices. These challenges have restricted many of the farmers to subsistent production,” he averred.
He stressed that state government is committed to make Lagos a 21st century economy and deliver change in the agricultural land space hence the introduction of the Eko City Farmers’ Market.
Lawal explained that the Eko- City Farmers’ Market was intended to increase productivity of farmers as well as create an avenue for inclusive business where farmers make more profit since they are selling directly to consumers.
According to the commissioner, government would provide a conducive environment and other needed services like cold storage for fish farmers, haulage and some logistics for farmers and vendors to market their produce.