AFEX marks World Food Day with launch of 100,000MT/year grain quality enhancement centre
AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, on Friday, marked World Food Day, with the launch of a new 100,000MT/year Grain Quality Enhancement Centre and 30,000MT storage capacity warehouse at Zaria-Kano Highway, Kaduna State.
The plant represents AFEX’s renewed commitment to infrastructure investments that cut post-harvest losses, strengthen quality and standardisation criteria in grain value chains and improve the livelihoods of primary producers who are able to earn higher income on better quality grains.
The plant, which has a yearly capacity of 100,000MT, meets the challenges of grain quality enhancement through cleaning, grinding, heating, drying, packaging, and storage services for grains, like maize, paddy rice and soybean.
Chief Executive Officer, Ayodeji Balogun, said: “Over the years, we have seen a growing demand for grain commodities in the animal feed, food and drink industries. However, N3.5 trillion is lost yearly after harvest because the national storage capacity can only accommodate five to seven per cent of agricultural produce.
“At AFEX, we believe that the grain quality enhancement centre will help meet that demand, support the closure of quality and quantity gaps, maximise income returns for smallholder farmers, and increase access to markets that will benefit key players in the value chain and society at large.
“The activities in the processing plant will include quality and quantity checks, packaging, storage and other processes in the value chain.”
Balogun said further: “This historic milestone aligns with our UN SDG goals 1, 2, 5, 8 and 12. We are working towards resilience and sustainability of the agricultural supply chain to ensure that farmers and growers get a better deal for their produce, everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food, alleviate poverty, and ensure that no one is left behind.
“Our partnership with the Kaduna State government and the USAID-Funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub has also been instrumental in moving the project forward.
“We are delighted for their contributions as we continue to explore together the true potential and market opportunities of grains in Nigeria.”
Currently, Nigeria’s storage capacities stand at less than five per cent, resulting in excessive post-harvest losses, all of which impact food security.
“To solve the problem, the new facility will strengthen food supply chains, boost grain prices for producers and serve as a reliable source for processed grain meal and hulls in the growing markets, while bolstering food production in the country.
Essentially, by depositing commodities in the warehouse, farmers will be able to pay for the processing services and have access to buyers on the AFEX platform at a higher price.
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