Lagos State Government announced plans to set up an e-commerce hub for farmers and producers to process produce in hygienic condition for export.
The State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said this during the inspection tour of venues of the Eko City Farmers Market, Ileya Edition, at St. Georges Primary School, Falomo, Lagos and Opebi Primary School, Opebi.
Olusanya said that the proposed hub would be located in a central location where all the certification of produce would take place.
She said that the ministry was trying to connect with the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an app-tech hub to encourage the youth to actually bring innovative solutions in the agric space.
“We are trying to set up hubs or platforms where we will be able to get our producers to come together and be able to produce in sanitary and hygienic conditions for export opportunities.
“We will get organisations like SON, NAFDAC to do a sort of assessment on the items produced for us to be able to export.
“Essentially, we want to be able to make it easier for our producers to be able to produce in a way that they do not have to go through many channels to certify their products.
“We want to make our certification take place in one location and then they can easily export,” the acting commissioner said.
She said the state government was also trying to create an enabling environment for agric business and producers to ensure the ease of doing business in the state.
“When you talk about app-tech and e-commerce, I think we have a platform for that in the Eko City Farmers Market, which is supposed to connect the producers to the consumers and whosoever wants to buy along any value chain that exists already.
“We know that there are several other platforms as well, like oja.ng and we have food.ng and a lot of platforms exist already to try to connect producers to the consumers.
“I believe we are doing that and you can come to the Ministry of Agriculture if you need any resources, if you need any help and support, we are willing and glad to do that.
“In August, we will be having our stakeholders’ engagement virtual, just to try to see what is ongoing with terrain in the agric space and to be able to see whatever challenges they have and how we can mitigate all and be able to offer solutions to them.
“I believe in the app-tech space, yes a lot will be done, a lot still needs to be done.
“We are also trying to connect to our sister Ministry, which is the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an app-tech hub to encourage the youth to actually bring innovative solutions in the agric space, so we believe we are doing that.
“Also, we have the Lagos State Entrepreneurship Programme (LAP), in Araga, we will be commencing with the next batch in August and part of their syllabus is the e-commerce section, just to try to encourage them that it is not just about physical interaction between yourself and the consumer or whosoever is buying.
“It is to ensure that they can also set up e-commerce platforms, they can sell regardless of the time or the situation,” Olusanya said.
Similarly, the Executive Chairman, Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, Mr. Francis Oke, lauded the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture.