AFEX moves to make farmers capital market literate

By Adelola Amihere

As part of efforts aimed at ensiring that farmers and other relevant stakeholders in the commodities market are financially literate to harnass opportunities in the capital market, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, has announced plans to drive initiatives that promote investor education in a bid to help them make informed investment decisions as the sector continues to expand.

Part of the initiatives will involve knowledge-sharing sessions, video tutorials, one-on-one with financial experts, and detailed reports on commodity value chains, all of which will be incorporated into its technological platforms.

The Chief Executive Officer, AFEX, Mr. Ayodeji Balogun made this known in Abuja as the company joined the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy, kicking off investment week in Nigeria.

Balogun while speaking at the event, noted that financially literate market participants stand a better chance of taking advantage of new opportunities in the capital market which directly drives up the level of activities and diversity in the market.

“Our vision is to grow our education campaigns into an open-source library of content for commodity exchanges in Africa. The content will span across membership procedure, market access, trading strategies, and community engagement, and will be accessible to investors at the click of a button.”

Addressing the topic of inclusion in the commodities market, Balogun also revealed that in a bid to ensure a wider reach, the company operates in 600 communities with 60 technologically-run warehouses across 15 states servicing over 110,000 farmers who are currently registered with AFEX through their different cooperatives.

This, alongside some of the programmes the company offers, such as Input Finance, he explained, will go a long way in securitizing trade by helping farmers access loan bundles that improve mechanization and crop protection while also connecting them to off-takers interested in their products.

“As a member of AFEX as a farmer, you are sure that you can get the right financing and double/triple your yields in a year or two,” he said.

The Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation, at SEC, Mr. Emomotimi Agama, who represented the Executive Commissioner of the SEC at the event, reiterated the Commission’s support and confidence in the work AFEX has and continues to do in the area of investment in the commodities’ sector.

“We aim to facilitate the dissemination of information about Nigeria’s capital market that provides investors with the critical knowledge required to make better decisions about investing in the market. We are happy that together with key stakeholders like AFEX we can facilitate this movement of financial literacy,” he said.

Calling for young Nigerians and also international investors to secure investments in agriculture before it’s too late, Agama recognized the humongous opportunities available in the country’s commodity space in relation to its ever-growing population.

Balogun also listed some of the commodities available for trade and investment currently include Maize, Sorghum, Rice, Cocoa, Ginger, and Soya Bean.

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