A digital export platform to connect Nigeria with other countries and transform the landscape of global trade in the food industry has been unveiled in Lagos. The platform, an initiative of the Food for Nation, a one stop food export market, was launched at the Union Bank Headquarters in Lagos. The Founder/Chief Executive Officer of JR Farms Nigeria Ltd, who is the initiator of the Food for Nation, Olawale Opeyemi said that the digital export platform, is a one-stop shop across all the export value chain, which is designed to connect cross-sectoral stakeholders across the agri-food value chain to facilitate food exports and imports.
He said the platform would foster food security and remove challenges being faced with exportation over the years in the agriculture sector. Olawale also noted that the digital platform is significant for the food value chain in Nigeria, adding that, it would give the country the opportunity of getting more recognition in the agribusiness sector. Speaking further, he said that the initiative was to facilitate trade between countries, and will also enable local businesses to have access to the larger markets. Speaking on the partnership with France, he said the choice of partnering with the French country is to gain access by exporting foods to the entirety of the 27 countries in the EU where France is an important member.
“We have had a long-standing partnership with France. Of course, France is an important country when it comes to the EU and the EU comprises over 27 countries and with that access to the market you can imagine what that kind of leverage will do for us as a country in terms of boosting our foreign reserve, which we are currently struggling with. So, this is a bold step”, Olawale said. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Republic of France, Olivier Becht, said that the platform would boost trade between both countries. He said there is the need to ensure opportunities for the export market, hence he sees the platform as an enabler of trade. According to him, “the platform would boost exports from Nigeria to France. Those who produce locally can export directly to France and other parts of Europe. So, this is very heartwarming indeed”.
Becht added that the unveiling marked a significant milestone in the collaboration between France and Nigeria in the agri-food sector, stressing that the platform is a testament to the immense potential for growth, as far as agribusiness relationships between both countries are concerned. He assured that the French Government is interested in investing in Nigeria for the long-term, noting that the bilateral relationship between both countries was going to be mutually beneficial, especially in major commanding heights of the economy, saying “There is a lot of energy in the people and a lot of opportunities for cooperation with Europe, and especially France. So, I think we have a lot to do together in many fields. Of course, in agriculture, food, industry, infrastructure, transportation and I’m very happy that we have this contact”.