NIGERIA – AFEX Commodities Exchange Ltd, a private commodity exchange firm, has unveiled pans of launching a platform that will educate investors on the commodities in the Nigerian market.

Established in 2014, AFEX is Nigeria’s first private sector commodity exchange firm, engaging in provision of storage services, of electronic warehouse receipts, and the facilitation of input financing, reports News Agency of Nigeria.

The company’s Corporate Communications Analyst, Obianuju Okafor, said that the platform, dubbed EdEX, will aim at enhancing investors’ knowledge in the commodity to create wealth.

She said that currently, only few investors in the commodity market understood the structure and operations of the market, hence presenting the need to expand the scope.

“With inclusion and innovation at the centre of today’s commodity markets, investors can find several routes to participate in the market,” Okafor said.

She said that the platform would be designed to accommodate online trainings, digitally distributed learning materials, as well as physical workshops.

“EdEX is a market education platform designed to help portfolio managers, fund managers, analysts, traders, brokers and risk managers gain an understanding of the commodities markets in Nigeria, and develop products and services around the commodities exchange ecosystem,” adds AFEX’s Country Manager, Ayodeji Balogun.

Okafor added that the platform would reach various audience groups and satisfy their unique educational needs.

She said that the platform would be useful for three key groups of participants- institutional and retail investors, brokers and smallholder farmers by focusing on market access, trading strategies and community engagement.

The communications analyst noted that for smallholder farmers, a train the trainer model would be adopted to ensure efficient knowledge dissemination on various farming processes and beneficial practices to the farmer.

The commodity exchange has also called for increased access to finance for smallholder farmers in Nigeria in order to drive productivity in crop production and the overall agriculture sector across the country.

According to Mr. Akinyinka , Business Development Manager of AFEX Commodities Exchange, a robust and well-structured financing framework for the smallholder farmers could see a remarkable boost in food production in the country.

He notes that the current lending structure of 4% from the banking sector to the Agric sector was lean for a sector that contributes over 20% to the nation’s GDP.

The company trades maize, sorghum, soybean paddy rice, ginger, and cocoa.