By Eileen Ihemadu.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced the establishment of a technological- driven Agricultural Market Information Centre to provide reliable and up-to-date one- stop data base of the agricultural market environment.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan, broke the news in Abuja while declaring open a three day Capacity Building Workshop on Operationalization of Market Information Centre for participants drawn from FMARD 36 states’ offices and the Federal Capital Territory.
He explained that it was important for government to promote agricultural market information in order to aid investment, production, processing , marketing and exportation of agricultural produce out of the country to promote economic growth in line with the Economic Recovery Programmme of the present administration.
He said the one- stop Agricultural Market Information Centre was equipped with up to date facilities comprising of the reception, work station ,conference room and library to respond to the need of the public in market intelligence as well as directly and indirectly help drive production, processing and marketing in the agriculture sector thereby facilitating wealth creation, employment generation and ensuring food security.
He said: “ It is therefore apparent that investors, marketers and exporters of agricultural export produce from Nigeria would need a more reliable single point of contact to facilitate tailored agricultural market information support services and high quality market data for informed investment decision making across the agricultural value chains.”
He also revealed that: “As time goes on with demand and growth in Agriculture, there will be regional office centres which will now be collating and forwarding necessary information to the head office.”
The Director Agricbusiness and Market Development, Alhaji Musibau Azeez, explained that the objective of the capacity building workshop was to provide necessary skills for participants to collect, collate, analyze ,transmit and disseminate relevant agricultural information related to agricultural commodities prices through the web- based platform to all stakeholders which would be useful to take wise investment decision in entire agricultural value chain.