After all the reflection and measurements that come with a year ending and a new year beginning, we at AFEX Nigeria are feeling re-energized to continue pursuing some long held goals that our business was set up to attain as well as some others that have joined our lineup of impact as we have grown as an organization. We made quite a lot of impact in 2018, and you can read some of our 2018 impact stories here. In 2019, however, we have plans to scale our operations and do even more, and as we share some of AFEX Nigeria’s new year goals we present a little of what you can anticipate from the exchange in 2019.
AFEX Nigeria’s New Year Goals
Scaling our input program
In 2019, AFEX Nigeria has plans to scale the impact of our input program to reach 50,000 farmers. This is double the goal that we set and surpassed in 2018, when we reached over 25,000 farmers in the wet and dry season input program. Our input financing program helps Nigerian smallholder farmers to access necessary inputs like fertilizers and Crop Protection Products (CPPs) that are beyond their reach due to them having limited income and access to credit. We have full confidence in our ability to meet this goal because the results of our input financing program from previous years are doing a lot of the work of convincing for us.
More farmers in our input program means better yields and productivity from agricultural activities in 2019, but it also means better quality of life for smallholder farmers on an individual level.
Introducing a range of products for the Capital market
AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited will be launching the first Commodities Index in Africa come January 2019. Along with the AFEX Commodity Index (ACI) will also come other instruments for investors interested in gaining exposure to commodity backed assets. This will include the Exchange Traded Commodity (ETC), which will be a commodity backed asset bought and sold on the Exchange.
These historical products, to be launched by AFEX Nigeria, will make investing in commodities accessible to all investors.
Hosting Code Cash Crop for the 2nd time
AFEX Nigeria will be putting on the second Code Cash Crop event as part of the 2019 Social Media Week Lagos (SMW Lagos) session lineup. This will give us yet another opportunity to gather enthusiasts in the technology (code), finance (cash) and agriculture (Crop) space to have conversations about possible avenues for collaboration and impact.
The theme for the 2019 Code Cash Crop event is payment solutions for rural agrarian communities, and we already have a speaker lineup that will guarantee an engaging and insightful panel discussion.
Partnering with NEXIM on financing exports
In 2019, a partnership between AFEX Nigeria and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), which began in 2018, to finance exports in the agricultural sector will continue. NEXIM, which has benefited from CBN’s reinstatement of the N500 billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF), which included a N50 billion Direct Intervention Fund for NEXIM to boost non-oil exports, is financing various projects in the non-oil sector including those identified in the agricultural sector, and AFEX Nigeria is serving as collateral managers for the identified agriculture linked projects.
The partnership will continue to promote export stimulation in the country leading to such benefits as inflow of funds into the country via the receipt of export proceeds, increased production output in the country which will lead to higher employment rates, increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, and higher foreign exchange earnings for the government.
Setting up our food security fund
Achieving food security is one of the biggest goals and challenges for developing countries. Nigeria is not exempt from the challenges, and the quest for solutions has led AFEX Nigeria to work on a Food Security Fund that will provide disruptive, scalable financing structures to agriculture. Setting up this fund and working towards food security for our nation is one of the biggest goals for AFEX Nigeria this year.
We are grateful for all the achievements and successes we recorded in 2018, but we are working for even more in 2019. Two of our greatest hopes for the new year are to make more impact in the lives of smallholder farmers and to empower more people to create wealth through our trading platform. We have put a lot of effort into having a spectacular 2019, and we are excited to have you on this ride with us.
Happy new year from all of us at AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited.