AFEX to allocate US$5M for agricultural trading, storage investments in Côte d’Ivoire 

AFEX to allocate US$5M for agricultural trading, storage investments in Côte d’Ivoire 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE- Africa’s foremost commodities player, AFEX, recently announced a plan to set apart up to US$5M for agricultural trading and storage investments in Côte d’Ivoire. 

During the closing plenary at the African Food System Forum (AGRF) 2023 held in Tanzania in September, Samirah Ade-Adebiyi, Managing Director of AFEX Investment Limited, hinted at a potential investment in Côte d’Ivoire. 

Looking ahead, we are thrilled to announce our expansion into Cote d’Ivoire this year, marking a significant step toward realizing our vision of establishing a presence in 10 African nations within the next five years, thereby fostering and enhancing regional trade,” she commented. 

Starting in Q1 2024, the trading platform aims to extend its established business model, currently operational in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda into this new territory. 

This model integrates facilitating agricultural commodity trade with providing financial assistance to smallholder farmers.

The project involves establishing in Côte d’Ivoire a core of physical infrastructure, warehouses, and storage facilities for agricultural products. We have initially planned six warehouses, in the southwest for cocoa value chains and the north for maize. This infrastructure will form the basis of our work to aggregate smallholder farmers, along with input financing and marketing support,”  Ayodeji Balogun, GCEO of AFEX said in a LinkedIn post. 

AFEX unveils 2023 Crop Production Report

This investment in Côte d’Ivoire comes in the aftermath of the commodity trading platform launching its 2023 Crop Production Report in Nigeria. 

AFEX presented this much-anticipated report during a hybrid event at its Abuja office held on November 16, 2023. 

Leveraging insights gathered from farmer surveys and transaction-level data, the report focuses on six key commodities- maize, paddy rice, soybean, sorghum, cocoa, and sesame- and provides a comprehensive analysis of crop production, price performance, and market dynamics, offering valuable information for stakeholders in the commodities market to make informed trading decisions in the upcoming season.

It highlights a significant improvement in access to farmland for cultivation in crucial areas. Moreover, there has been an increase in the utilization of improved inputs, such as high-yielding seeds and fertilizers, leading to a notable rise in the forecasted production of Maize and Paddy rice for the current season. 

The report delves into the challenges of food insecurity and food inflation in Nigeria, citing a 5.7 million metric ton shortage across human consumption and agro-processing, along with a historically high food inflation rate of 30.64%. 

Nigeria’s Global Hunger Index score remains alarming, ranking 109th out of 125 countries, indicating a severe food security crisis. The report emphasizes that as food prices continue to surge, the persistence of food security challenges will hinder the continent’s capacity to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

Addressing the audience at the launch event, President/CEO of AFEX Nigeria, Akinyinka Akintunde, emphasized the need to prioritize improvement in agricultural productivity through investment in the sector. 

He highlighted the importance of addressing infrastructure, logistics, and technology gaps to enhance food self-sufficiency, meet nutritional needs, and boost the economy through foreign exchange earnings.

Recognizing the recurring limitation of reliable data in agriculture, the report aims to bridge the gap by establishing a reliable data bank. 

This initiative seeks to promote market education, facilitate accurate trading decisions, and encourage the participation of capital market operators and financial market players while empowering farmers in negotiating equitable contracts.

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