Farmers Online Market (FOM), an e - marketing online platform possess the capacity to create 22 million jobs by connecting Nigerian farmers to buyers of agricultural products across the world.
FOM’s Executive Director, Comrade Stephen Maduko disclosed this during the launch of the e-platform in Abuja.
He said the portal would create 2 million direct jobs and over 20 million indirect jobs for youths through the marketing of the nation’s agricultural products.
While saying that the greatest economic challenge in the country is how to empower the youths, Maduko called for government collaboration to ensure the success of the agro-marketing platform.
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.”
"With a target of creating over 2 million jobs and over 20 million indirect jobs for our women and youth. We therefore urge the Federal Government through its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), 36 states and 774 local governments, private companies, investors, partners, international community, NGOs, and all relevant stakeholders in agricultural sector to support us and offer their services through these innovations (farmers online market) that would add value to the agricultural sector and would go a long way to increase the productivity of farmers and connect them with partners worldwide," he said.
He said, "with 14 million farmers registered under the e-wallet scheme of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), and with over 30 million yet to register or captured by the e-wallet scheme, the Farmers Online Market is in a better position in the right direction to provide jobs and business for our women and youth to be self-employed and also create jobs and wealth for others."
Also speaking at the event, which attracted officials of several government agencies, representative of the statistician General 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.
In his good-will message, Director General, Consumers Protection Council Mrs Dupe Atoke represented by assistant director, Quality Assurance Mr Kelechi Kenneth noted that on-line business is an emerging business in Nigeria and faces challenges ranging from quality of service and products delivered through the online forum to the direct mechanism you put in place to properly resolved such complaint.
Also speaking, director general, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Mr Bature Umar represented by head of ICT Ibrahim Abdulmalik said that they identify with the programme which falls in line within their mandate of developing and supporting small and medium scale enterprises through market accessibility and capacity building and will therefore assist the e-marking platform through the creation of a link in their website where visitors can easily access the platform.
The Director, ICT, F.O.M, Engr. Edwin Okafor in his presentation said, "according to statistics, 40% of farm produce in Nigeria are lost to post harvest losses. The online marketing platform therefore, was created to bridge the gap."
Engr. Okafor said, the Portal would enable the farmer know who are the buyers of a particular produce or veriety narrow down by geography, location, price, demand and rating.
He said with the site, farmers can negotiate with buyers well ahead of harvest periods; reduce last minute rush sales and post harvest losses; expose the farmers to the international market.
According to him, the site would connect farmers to banks and other financial institutions to access loans; farmers can meet local and international investors, partners that can invest into theirs farms for better growth of business.
"The purpose of the website is to serve as an E-market platform for farmers and Agro-based organisations in Nigeria to showcase farm products and services. The website will act as direct online contact outlet for these farmers. Enabling bulk buyers to view farmers' products, services, make orders and pay farmers for the products. This website will also serve as a tool for showcasing ASDARL projects, programmes, activities, news updates as well as events to the world," he said.