The Lagos Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) has trained farmers who are beneficiaries of the initiative in the state, on marketing, branding and packaging of agro-commodities to scale their businesses and leverage export opportunities.
The training, which took place recently comprised of intensive sessions to broaden farmers’ insights on agricultural marketing and packaging.
“The essence of today’s programme is to train farmers on how to market their products, which should entail all the processes of the value chain – from production to the market,” said Adewale Alade, Agro-Processing Specialist of the APPEALS project.
“Farmers must know how and where to market their products. Also, how to brand and package their products,” he said.
He noted that the world of product marketing is the world of appearance while adding that the consumer believes in what he sees, feels, touches or perceives.
He urged the farmers to always engage in market surveys and other techniques to understand their markets before embarking on production of any products.
Speaking also to the beneficiaries during the training programme, Funso Popoola, training manager for Africa Leadership Forum noted that many farmers still have difficulties in pushing their products out and with knowledge in marketing it would be a thing of the past.
According to him, training the farmers on branding and packaging will enable them leverage export opportunities while scaling their businesses.
“We know the strategic importance of marketing when it comes to perishable agro-produce. If not sold on time they get bad and then the capital is lost,” Popoola noted.
Similarly, Sadiq Yisfi, deputy director – port inspection directorate, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), lauded the initiative of the Lagos APPEALS in building farmers capacity for improved productivity and export of agro commodities.
Yisfi advised farmers seeking to export their products to go through the right processes in exporting to avoid their products to be rejected at the borders of exporting countries.
“As NAFDAC, we have come to encourage the farmers on brand standard and packaging of our agro-produce. We want farmers to make frantic efforts to develop their produce and increase their profits,” he said.
“As part of the mandate in NAFDAC, our collaboration with APPEALS will help these farmers to the next level,” he added.
A beneficiary of the APPEALS project, Olusola Adegbesan, expressed gratitude to the organisers of the programme, saying that knowledge gained at the training will help her effectively and efficiently market her produce henceforth.
“Though, I have been in the business for a while now, you never stop learning, there is always something new to learn. I will like to appreciate APPEALS as an all-encompassing program that empowers not just farmers alone but women and youths,” she said.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY