FG’s Endorsement of Arahah Farmers Market, to Facilitate the actualization of ACCI’s contribution to economic recovery and implementation of AfCFTA…
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has said the Federal Government’s endorsement of the Arahah Farmer’s Market would help facilitate the actualization of the Chamber’s goals.
The Director-General of the Chamber, Ms Victoria Akai who made this known during the Ministerial Technical Committee and Arahah Farmer’s Market Partnership Roundtable in Abuja on Friday said all is set for the successful hosting of the second edition of the 2021 Arahah Farmer’s Market to hold on the 27th of March, 2021. She said the involvement of more government agencies, private organisations and individuals in the Market would help facilitate the actualization of the goals of the market.
The Arahah market is a hybrid multi-stakeholder initiative conceived by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative (WADHI) a non-profit organization, championed by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI) and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA).
Ms Akai said the market was launched in 2020 to provide high-quality and affordable produce to low and middle-income residents of Abuja and its environs.
She also said the market has helped community MSMEs scale-up their businesses especially women-owned businesses.
She noted that the market is also an avenue to identify those rural entrepreneurs who need capacity building in the areas of standardization, financing, branding, and ensuring their products meet international standards ahead of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “The women entrepreneurs get an opportunity for new markets, and they will also get their capacity built because we will be training them in e-commerce and virtual trading platforms so that they do not always have to be in the physical market to sell because the world has gone digital. We also want farmers who are micro producers to sell without taking on the cost of logistics or getting to the market physically” she said.
“It will further, give city residents the opportunity to get direct and fresh produce from the farms while guidance will be provided by the FMITI on an ongoing basis on Commodity Standardization and Expanding Trade and Export opportunities for Women MSMEs. Produce will be sourced from the FCT Area Councils and neighbouring states like Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kaduna. We are working on a nationwide coverage for products for NACCIMA” she added.
She said the roundtable was necessary to fine-tune necessary arrangement for the successful hosting of the Arahah Market adding that the ministry should also take advantage of the Liberian Nigerian Business Forum billed to hold on June 13-16 2021 to further raise awareness and engagement on how the potentials of women would be unleashed in fostering intra-regional trade in Africa.
Also speaking, the Vice President Women Development of ACCI, Mrs Roseline Obiageli Nwosu (Esq) who relayed greetings from the ACCI President to the Hon. Minister, appreciated Mrs Tallen for her hard work in championing and campaigning for the rights of Women and the Girl Child.
She further informed the Hon. Minister that the Women Development Committee in the Chamber, is fully formed and strengthened under the leadership of Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar and pleaded with the Hon. Minister to support all activities of the Chamber especially those affecting Women so as to encourage the Women in the Chamber.
On her part the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Paulen Talen expressed delight at the activities of the chamber in ensuring women occupy their positions in society.
She was delighted at the objectives of the Farmer’s Market adding that the timing, which is less than 10 days to the end of this year’s International Women’s Month, was apt.
She said, “I am delighted to inform you that I and the Ministry officials will be joining you at the Market Grounds, at Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Trade Complex, Airport Road Abuja, for this Special Edition and subsequently to make the market a showpiece of women’s productive and distributive trade acumen both here in the FCT and around the country.
“I will also like to request for the regular submission of the monthly report of progress on the Ararah Farmer’s Market for effective monitoring and supervision. I am sure the Permanent Secretary will take this as a priority assignment of the Ministry.”
She said though the chamber was doing well, more needed to be done to ensure that the 40 per cent of women in the MSMEs in the informal sector have access to financial credit thereby discontinue trailing behind their male counterparts.
She said, “The array of opportunities embodied in the Farmer’s Market scheme is highly inspiring and I am happy to learn that women farmers and traders from over 6 States have already keyed into the platform I am therefore not surprised that the Ministry’s Technical Committee on Private Sector and Sub-Committee on Economic Empowerment has thrown its weight behind the initiative which is organized within a collaboration with high profile NGOs and leading Women’s Associations along with several other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the FCT Social Development Secretariat (SDS).”