Joining AFEX, in my experience, has been the right vehicle at the right time to offer a platform that strengthens farmers’ sustainability in the sector. Improving farmers’ livelihoods is our mission. We do that through farmers’ education on the best practices to increase their volumes, income, and lifestyle.
People often ask me why I would leave a job with the nice offerings to work in a bush. They do not understand that my best moment is working on the cocoa farm. From inception, it is the same cocoa production that was used to build our hospitals, offices, schools, and south-western Nigeria. And here at AFEX, we are doing something different with globally attractive cocoa.
Our farmers are certified under the Rain Forest Alliance, a global institution that shuns deforestation, fight climate change, upholds labor rights, and combats child labor. We empower them with the skills to understand and work with it. We have registered and trained over 150,000 farmers and they are doing well on their farms. Like Smart Adeyemi who I helped to maintain and increase his farm productivity over the years after losing so much money the previous years because of the negligence of his farm staff.
At AFEX, we are providing financial inclusion to these smallholder farmers as well as creating products and processes that make it easy for the capital market and the public to be a part of the commodities ecosystem. An example is the Warehouse Backed Receipt for traceability and financial access as well as the annual input disbursement ahead of each planting season.
The truth is AFEX has created many success stories within its network, providing employment to many and building an inclusive system that inspires growth in agriculture.
The way I see it, if farmers’ production on the farm pays them well, they can afford nutritious food for their family (SDG2, zero hunger), they can earn a good living (SDG1, no poverty), they can afford to send their children to get a good education (SDG4, quality education), and they can encourage responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) that feeds the nation.
Stay tuned for the next part in the next post.