Rural farmers from Abuja, Benue, Kaduna Nassarawa and environs on Saturday 27th of February, 2021, converged at the Abuja Trade and Convention Centre (ATC), to display and sell their goods at the famous Arahah Farmers Market.
The Farmers Market, an initiative of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Women Arise Humanitarian Development Initiative (WAHDI) is a women focused market aimed at providing a platform for women to sell their products at discount prices and also use it as a medium to address their challenges, as well as prepare them for the increase in demand that will come with the AfCFTA.
The farm produce on display include tomatoes, pepper, vegetables of all types, all forms of tubers, grains including rice, beans, guinea corn, millets, and other locally processed foods. Others include fruits like cashew, pears, and avocado. There was dried and life chicken and turkey, dried fish, dried pepper, honey, palm oil, different types of spices amongst others.
While commenting on the outcome of the market, the Director-General of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Ms Victoria Akai said the Market serves as a platform for women to interact with stakeholders.
She said the market also aims at providing capacity building for the women on how they can sell their produce within and outside Nigeria and under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The DG also said that the market has been able to encourage women to join the Chamber of Commerce adding that “because working together we are stronger, we are bringing the women here to have direct contact with them, bring in customers to buy their goods, show them how to expand their product reach, provide capacity building on various aspects of modern business techniques including packaging, and on how to sell their goods within and outside Nigeria” she said.
She noted that the market, which has now started with women from the northern part of Nigeria, hopes to expand in its subsequent editions to accommodate more women (and men) entrepreneurs from all over the country.
“Market access for rural smallholder farmers is increasingly being promoted as a means towards catalyzing sustainable rural development. However, without addressing the gender specific issues that rural smallholder women farmers’ face in accessing markets, market access as a strategy towards sustainable development may fail to achieve its ends. This is why we have decided to create this market” she said.
Also speaking, the Convener of the Women Arise Humanitarian Development Initiative (WAHDI) Mrs Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia said the idea is to bring farmers to sell their goods directly to the customers, at cheaper rates, and “today’s market so far has been a success.
“Palm oil has sold out”, “honey has sold out as well”, and vegetables are almost finished so we are pleased”.
“As a discount market offering commodities at lower prices, its purpose hence is being achieved. People have come from outside town to sell and be a part of this and the people who didn’t know they can have access to customers outside their locality are here as well to sell their goods” she said.
The market is a monthly market that holds every last Saturday of the month.
Media Officer (ACCI)
February 27th, 2021.