The lingering question of how to lift over 30 million rural households out of poverty and food insufficiency has driven the evolution of our company over the last five years. With a North Star of inclusive markets, we have, over the last 5 years, reached 160,000 smallholder farmers with a bundle of productivity that is making a difference to their livelihoods and communities. Still we are only at a starting point. …

by Ayodeji Balogun, CEO AFEX

If you follow me on LinkedIn, these stories have really become your stories.

Over the break, and after the crazy year that was 2020, I began penning down some of the history of AFEX and the lessons I have learnt from building the Exchange over the last six years. The reception has been amazing, in fact, there have been calls for a book from certain quarters, but first I committed to reblogging this series right here so that it is easily accessible to those who can benefit from our stories at the Exchange.

Right now, the ‘AFEX effect’ is definitely…

by Abimbola Otepola, Corporate Communications Analyst, AFEX

Dalhatu Abdulazeez’s day begins at 8.00 am every morning. Before the sun has risen, he’s already at work at the Zaria warehouse, tending to the bags of grains and the disbursement of inputs to farmers. He plans, supervises, and contributes to the planting and harvesting process. As part of his morning checks, he always keeps a close tab on the growth of the farmers’ harvest, the input disbursement, and the market dynamics of the grains stored in the warehouse. …

by Abimbola Otepola, Corporate Communications Analyst, AFEX

In the spring of 2021, three AFEX staff came together to visit farmers working in small farms in Northern Nigeria, Kaduna State. The afternoon trip was part of a larger project that is supporting small-scale agriculture, lifting farmers out of poverty, and increasing market access to locally-grown food.

Alhaji Yunsua Dauda with his wives and children.

With his daughters and sons by his side, Alhaji Yunsua Dauda proudly shows off the large iron-roofed house, provision shops, he recently built selling maize, soybean, and paddy rice from his small farm in rural Kaduna. Only 10 meters down the street stand the remnants of his old and much smaller home…

Like a Gift Card to a Farmer that Comes Back to You

Gift cards? Everyone could use one!

Whether it is for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or otherwise, we all feel good about receiving a gift card that gives us the flexibility and freedom to get exactly what we want… in this case, our gift card is something a little different.

We’ve got something for everyone to enjoy in the commodities exchange ecosystem. It’s called an input note, and this is how it works.

The gift card (Input Notes)

On most occasions, a gift card offers you a range of options you don’t usually get with just one present. For example, a shopping gift card will give you…

by Abimbola Otepola, Corporate Communications Analyst AFEX

The agricultural sector offers a broad spectrum of economic benefits in Africa, and being an engine of job creation is inclusive. The sector accounts for 70 percent of employment and resources in Nigeria. While the employment opportunities across the food system are potentially large, agri-focused companies intensifying growth in the sector are exponentially growing. Our trading business unit — AFEX Fair Trade — is one of such engines for growth and job creation.

AFEX came to life in 2014 and since then one of the fundamentals of our story has been helping small farm holders in Nigeria to maximize their…

Cash In on Cashew —

Most likely you will find it as an ingredient in nut spreads, cereals, fruits, cookies, ice cream toppings, name it. But what do you think about making money off what you chew?

We are excited to announce that Cashew has been listed on the Exchange and can be traded on ComX. You can now add Cashew to the list, along with Maize, Sorghum, Soybean, Paddy Rice, Cocoa, Ginger, Sesame to fully diversify your portfolio and trade at low costs.

How does this work? Well, let’s get started:

What to know about Cashew

Known by the scientific name, Anacardium Occidentale, Cashew is a prominent cash-crop cultivated…

by Ayodeji Balogun, CEO AFEX

2019 was the year we closed the investment with Consonance Investment Managers. It was also the year we designed Project Black Elephant — our next five-year strategy.

We started 2020 with the launch of ComX by AFEX in January, then we had our Strategy Retreat led by Andrew S. Nevin, and Doyin Salami. You can bet we gleaned some incredible insights from these special three days. We also had the International Conference on Commodities Exchange hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission just before the formal lockdown. It was there that the official launch of #ComX happened, unveiled by the…

by Ayodeji Balogun, CEO AFEX

Not the North in Winterfell ruled by the house of Stark in Game thrones. No. The North is many different things to different people. To me, true north refers to the direction towards the top of the earth along an imaginary line, at an angle of 90° to the equator. It is the direction of the North Pole relative to the navigator’s position.

I always come back to this definition of the #TrueNorth. Quite complex, yet very simple.

Know your location in relation to the Earth’s center.

Also, we can read it to mean, know your purpose, and how far…

by Ayodeji Balogun, CEO AFEX

Growth kills most SMEs.

There are too many variables at play, and as entrepreneurs, we typically only see the upside. Every business that grows faster than it can grow its talent pool will fail!

We had to de-grow in 2018. If our cash will give us a decent runway, we needed to cut the fat, and go lean. Our 2018 planning retreat was the introduction of what will happen in that year. We plotted a graph showing revenue per employee since inception. Per capita revenue was falling. Volume throughput per warehouse space was also tanking.

While I was convinced we…


AFEX’s infrastructure and platforms drive capital to build a trust economy in Africa’s commodity markets.

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