Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, AFEX, today hosted the third edition of its Code Cash Crop event at Lagos Oriental Hotel, to support the integration of agriculture, finance, and technology that create sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing food system challenges in Africa.
The theme of the event was “Disrupting Agriculture Trade Infrastructure” and it brought together next-generation innovators, business professionals, entrepreneurs, Agric specialists, investors, development partners, and policymakers in the three sectors to identify innovative and viable solutions to Africa’s Trade Infrastructure in a series of panel discussions, mentorship sessions, and network meetings.
Additionally, Code Cash Crop 3.0 featured an ag hackathon, focused on young professionals representing the fields of agriculture, finance, and technology competing and pitching innovative ideas to real-world challenges in the sector. The objective was to create a transformative business idea for the markets which can increase better opportunities for producers, ease participation for various levels of investors in supply chain activities and increase transparency and security for players on both ends of the market. More than 5 million naira in prizes were awarded to the top 3 participants, and more than 200 submissions were made to solve the challenges in UN SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8, and 12.
Commenting on the significance of Code Cash Crop, Yusuf Oguntola, the Chief Technology Officer, AFEX, said, “We believe that it is essential to nurture a culture of collaboration and innovation, especially if we are to effectively tackle some of today’s urgent agriculture challenges. We are happy to see the next generation of innovators from the fields of technology, finance, and agriculture pitch viable solutions for optimizing agriculture trade infrastructure.” He added that technology will be key in promoting a platform model for agriculture trade that can focus on providing access to logistics, access to advisory services, access to inputs, and access to the market, which are all key to the future of agriculture in Africa.
Ikenna Nzewi, CEO, Co-founder, Releaf, speaking at the panel discussion on the topic “The present and future of agriculture commodity trade in Africa” stated that ‘it’s important to carry out comprehensive research for solutions, especially technologies that are applicable to smallholder farmers which should be tailored to their needs”
“We need to focus on accelerating growth in the sector. Innovating in areas where agriculture faces challenges will help farmers scale their business, and it’s essential to simplify technology for smallholder farmers.” Olatomiwa Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft (Nigeria & Ghana) commented in her opening remarks.
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Since its inception in 2018, Code Cash Crop has been at the forefront of advocating for agritech solutions that boost the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the agribusiness sector. Additionally, Code Cash Crop builds on AFEX’s long-standing efforts to foster digital innovation and sustainability in Africa’s food system in a way that drives prosperity and immense social value for all.
“Code Cash Crop showcases the importance of fusing technology-led solutions along with agriculture and finance to create a better, connected, and sustainable future for our food systems. Solving the challenges in the supply chain requires collective expertise and I am glad young men and women in Nigeria are leading this conversation with new and innovative ideas. Through this ag hackathon, in association with our partners, we hope to help make these ideas a reality,” said Akinyinka Akintunde, COO AFEX.
Bolstered by an existing supply chain infrastructure of over 100 warehouses and digital trading platforms that link investors with producers and processors, AFEX’s commitment to the agricultural sector and deep industry knowledge will add crucial expertise to this much-needed activity.
Since its launch in 2014, AFEX has committed to leveling-up Africa’s Agric-tech sector; by helping the continent trade with itself and the world, while boosting food security and making food production more efficient.
AFEX harnesses Africa’s commodities and talent to build shared wealth and prosperity. Its infrastructure and platform investments work to unlock capital to power a trust economy in Africa’s commodities markets. Since its inception in 2014, AFEX has developed and deployed a viable commodities exchange model for the West African market and is on track to impact one million producers: providing services in productivity and value capture and access to finance and markets. By deploying an efficient market system, the company will facilitate trade with Africa worth over USD500 million in the next five years.
AFEX’s vision is to be the reference point for commodities in Africa. To achieve this goal, AFEX looks to introduce products that de-risk the sector, drive financial inclusion for rural communities, develop technology for data collection and market access, and enable capital deployment.