Why e-commerce is must for smallholder farmers, says Akande

Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, emphasized the need for smallholder farmers to embrace e-commerce, saying it will help them maximize the value of their agro-industry.

Akande said so during a three-day capacity building for MSME operators in agribusiness, on the theme “The relevance of e-commerce as an enabler of the agribusiness value chain. industry in a 21st century economy,” which kicked off in Lagos on Monday.

According to her, e-commerce in agriculture has become an alternative model to formalize informal value chains, as it allows products to be bought and sold online.

“E-commerce allows farmers to bypass intermediaries and sell directly to diverse customer groups that would otherwise be out of reach. And based on the fact that agricultural inputs require live animals and perishable goods, it has remained a tricky sector that should accommodate an e-commerce platform,” she said.

The Lagos official said that although the concept of e-commerce in agriculture is new in developing economies like Nigeria, where around 70% of the population engages in agricultural production at a subsistence level, the Harnessing to generate inputs for farmers and solve their common problems has become imperative.

She said, “Nigeria is the 33rd largest e-commerce market with revenue of $6.9 billion in 2021, putting it ahead of Denmark and behind Colombia. With an increase of 30%, the Nigerian e-commerce market contributed to the global growth rate of 15% in 2021.

Read also: Poultry farmers seek FG’s intervention in rising production costs

“Just like in Nigeria, global e-commerce sales are expected to increase over the next few years. With an expected annual growth rate of 12% between 2021 and 2025, Nigeria is expected to exceed the global average of 6%.

This rapid growth in e-commerce has the potential to fill long-standing gaps in the Nigerian agricultural sector and transform agribusiness – a sector that is the main source of income for the majority of Nigerian households.

“This opportunity comes at a time when productivity in the sector is declining due to a range of challenges, including limited supply of inputs, inefficient sales markets and low levels of competition among supply chain intermediaries. “

Program facilitators, including Joshua Odewale, who retired from the Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), also aligned themselves with Akande on the need for Africa’s largest economy to boost growth. digital literacy, modernize ICT infrastructure and address inequitable access to smartphones. / Internet as well as encouraging digital transactions even in rural areas where most farmers are based.

Comments are closed.