About 15,000 jobs will be created by the Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange, its Coordinator, Binfa Binchang, has said.
He spoke at the organisation’s maiden Farmers Corporative Forum in Kano. Over 20, 000 farmers registered as cooperative societies at the event and interacted with financial institutions, investors and other stakeholders on better ways of funding and ensuring stability of prices of commodities in the eco-system market.
Binchang said: “We interact with government agencies and banks for source of financing, but at the same time, you will see that the farmers we have here are farmers that are under the cooperative of Gezawa Commodity market and Exchange.
“We have extension service spread across the 44 Local Government Areas of Kano State. And from there we were able to generate more than 1,000 cooperatives. So, all the people you can see here are farmers, who belong to one cooperative or the other. And that is why we are bringing them here to interact, with the financial institutions, with government agencies for source of funding as against this farming seasons.
“We have over 1,000 cooperatives and if you times that 1,000 by 20 members, that is in totality, we have close to over 20,000 farmers that have been registered under this cooperative, so, we are looking at where government can actually come in, liaise with us to be able to actually help farmers to get either inputs or funding for their agro-products.”
The market, Binchang said, would change the fortune of farmers in Kano and neighbouring states, adding: “The response has been very good in terms of the famers. The major challenge facing the farmers is the source of funding and input. And I believe that the financial institutions can put hands together, with us, including the government.
“We should be able to do the right thing. And as you can see here, we brought the farmers here, so that they can interact, with these organisations. We do not want to do it for them. We want to teach them how to fish, that is why we brought them together, so that they can participate by themselves.
“For marketing their products, we have the market and we have the Commodity Exchange and you know the Commodity Exchange functions like the Stock Market, so, commodities will be traded live on an online platform and the good thing we did, like I always say is that the phase one is almost completed.
“Between July and August the launch will be held. And when we do, the phase one alone can employ almost 2,000 people; that is a huge number. The phase two will employ more than 3,000 people.
“We always do this because the data are there for all to see. All these departments are together and if we really put this in place, I think the North has gotten it right, with the Gezawa Commodity Market. At the close of the day, directly, it will create 5,000 jobs and indirectly, we will be talking of between 7,000 and 10, 000.”
The Vice Chancellor of Kano State University of Science and Technology, Professor Shehu Musa, stated that the Farmers Cooperative Forum would add value to the agricultural development of the state.
He said agriculture remains a great pillar as far as development is concerned hence, measures should be taken by the relevant authorities to move the sector forward.
Professor Shehu Alhaji Musa advised wealthy individuals to invest in the agricultural sector through the procurement of modern farming equipment targeted at improving mechanized farming and modern poultry.
In his remarks the Managing Director Of Bank of Agriculture in Kano Alhaji Kabiru Adamu said his agency is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria in providing necessary assistance to farmers under the Anchor-borrower Scheme.
He said the programme has started yielding positive results, especially with the high increase in the production of rice, tomatoes, and other food products in the country.
Alhaji Kabiru Ahmad maintained that plans were on the way to provide loans to farmers of ginger, palm oil, tomatoes and poultry aimed at boosting the entire agricultural sector.
In his address, the chairman of All Farmers Association (AFAN), Kano Chapter, Alhaji Faruk Mudi said the forum was very timely especially at this period that the raining season is quite approaching.
He advised Farmers to utilize the golden opportunity in exploring the available chances aimed at boosting food production, both for internal consumption and for export.