A new online market portal, Farmers Online Market (FOM), seeks to connect thousands of small and large scale farmers to markets and create 22 million direct and indirect new jobs for youths through the marketing of the nation’s agricultural products. The portal was launched in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, promoted by private individuals and supported by some government agencies and banks.
The Executive Director, FOM, Comrade Stephen Maduko, explained that FOM is an online (web and mobile) based information exchange platform for connecting farmers and buyers of agricultural produce. According to him, it is a B2B (business to business model), and connects all stakeholders in the agro supply chain-farmers, buyers and their end suppliers, transporters and labor, into one information portal.
He said: “Nigeria is in a unique position to tap into the emerging global finance that would increasingly promote sustainable development through agriculture. We must act at the right time, and the time to act is now. If Ghana, Cameroon, United States, India are doing well in that area of exporting their products without rejecting their products due to the level of education of their farmers…, Nigeria can also get it right.”
Asked on how the platform would be administered, the Executive Director said FOM would raise entrepreneurs known as agents, whose duties would focus on marketing agricultural products through the portal as well as attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Also speaking at the event, which attracted officials of several government agencies, representative of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Mr Ichedi Sunday Joel, said the Bureau would avail the Farmers Online Market all the needed statistics to achieve its objectives.