The Lagos State Government has unveiled plans to boost agric-business using electronic commerce in a bid to speed up the state’s economic development.
The state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr Lola Akande, stated this on Monday at the start of the management capacity-building for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises on Agribusiness and E-Commerce, in Alausa, Ikeja.
Akande, who was represented at the event by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs Adetutu Oluremi, noted that technology-enhanced agriculture will require farmers to have access to stable power and the internet.
She said, “The theme for this event, ‘The relevance of e-commerce as a catalyst to the agribusiness value chain in a 21st-century economy,’ is very apt considering that e-commerce in agriculture has emerged as an alternative model to formalise informal value chains by enabling the buying and selling of farm produce online. This will allow farmers to bypass intermediaries and sell directly to various customer groups that would have otherwise been out of reach.
“I believe that if we put agriculture, youth and technology together, and formulate government strategies that encourage more entrepreneurs to come into the sector, we will be able to speed up our economic development. We must also keep in mind that the farmer probably does not have access to Wi-Fi and power. I think that is where we must begin; technology must meet farmers on their farms.”
In his lecture, the Chief Consultant at Hoshea Consults, Dr Joshua Odewale, highlighted the importance of e-commerce to rural communities.
“E-commerce improves capacity development among rural communities resulting in better market information for producers, lower transaction costs, improved market coordination, and more transparent rural markets. It will also increase food and nutrition security and boost food production,” he said.