Edo state government has in a way to show how forseeing and responsive it is especially as it concerns the welfare and the well-being of the people has concluded arrangements for the establishment of a monthly farmers market.
Hon Afie Braimoh, the commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin City.
According to Hon Braimoh, the establishment of the farmers’ market would also bridge the surplus farm produce by the farmers and the sustainable outlets for the sales of their produce.
She opined that the planned farmers market is one of the strategies by the ministry to boost the “Made in Edo” products through its policy statement “Proudly Edo”. of the state government.
She stated that “by design, the market is expected to stimulate off-takers in such a way that the farmer does not need to bother much about how to dispose of their farm produce because the market is functioning as an exchange and ready market. “
“We expect to see purchasers of major chain stores such as Market Square, Fordmart, Protea, Shoprite, Hallmark, JustrighT, Spar, hotel and restaurant buyers and mum and pop stores who are looking for the newest product and shelf ready product packaging that will increase the footfall in their stores and businesses.”
” Some government agencies NAFDAC, SON, NEPC BMOs will have a permanent space at the monthly market as a way to maintain that handshake of engagement.
“We believe this will attract more investors in the State as they see a wide variety of processors, farmers and others on a monthly basis. This presents a win-win for both the seller and the buyer with the consumer being the ultimate winner. “
This initiative has always been in the strategic plan for the ministry following a series of stakeholder engagements as they developed their scorecard in the first quarter of 2022.
According to Braimoh, “We got to know our Edo MSMEs and grassroots farmers last year; we worked with them to improve their labels, processes, certification, branding and workshops on packaging and bookkeeping.”
We created the industrial policy on MSME clustering and started the Proudly Edo” policy statement. Now, it is time for these products to make it to the tables of every home”
This initiative of market visibility through the Farmers Market could not have come at a better time given the incessant increase in the price of goods and services across the Nation with seemingly no end in sight. “We need to put the farmers produce in the hands of the consumer so they can transact directly and also reduce post-harvest loss always experienced by our farmers”.
The commissioner disclosed that the Farmers ’market is scheduled to commence on the 3rd saturday of every month. The plan was to kick off in January but instead the ministry supported a Trade exhibition and Carnival organized by the Gruv Enuff group in Benin thereby collaborating with the private sector to open markets for MSMEs.
“In addition, the market will also serve as the precursor to the Edo State Trade Exhibition and Expo, slated for the last quarter of 2023. “This farmers market will be a dry run for the 2023 Edo State Trade Expo and Exhibition later in the year. We should kick off planning by March 2023.
“The ministry hopes that the monthly farmers market would have stabilized substantially to be able to generate the required momentum and frenzy during the Expo as well as create huge export channels for the state as a means of foreign exchange earnings and galvanize investors’ interest.
This event promises to be fun with entertainment and side attractions. It will become a mainstay for the Ministry as the main local driver for MSME growth in the State.
The ministry Focus for MSME empowerment in 2023 is Visibility and Market Access for Made in Edo Products through Farmers Markets, Trade shows both locally and international, presence in major stores within and outside Nigeria and market access through collaborations and programs within Africa through AFCTA and the global market.
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