We should congratulate Ekiti State for the initiative of creating a huge window tapping into the food marker in West Africa’s Economic nerve Centre, Lagos. Food is the most important essential of life. It is more important than bridges and tall buildings.
This is a great aspiration. It is a tall order but not impossible. I believe the respected Ekiti State Agric Ministry would have considered the following. I have trust in them:
1) Lagos has a population of more than 12million people-I choose to be Conservative.
2) The most important food consumed in Lagos are tomatoes and onions. LAGOS consumes some N1b worth of tomatoes and onions daily. Less than 0.1 percent are produced in Lagos. This means there is a huge market for agric produce from the hinterland.
3) Lagos potentially can supply some 10 West African countries with consumable products like tomatoes and onions to countries with maritime or road borders with Lagos including but not limited to Benin Republic,
Guinea and Ghana.
4) Ekiti can conveniently fill this gap given the quality of leadership at the moment.
1) I trust the Ekiti State Ministry of Agrica has taken the listed into consideration. Lagos market is managed by a cartel that has a charm grip on the distribution network.
2) The cartel is a National caucus with very strong and powerful people in the North including Emirs who receive returns from operators of the markets in Lagos.
3) This cartel makes it difficult for new interests to open fresh frontiers in the area of sales of tomatoes and onions having a firm grip on the wholesale and the retain chain.
4) Past efforts have led to producers from SW bringing their tomatoes, yams and onions without opportunity to sell effectively being difficult to brake the stranglehold of this strong cartel. They brought farm produce but could not sell them until they began to rotten forcing them to sell at give away markets at a great loss.
5) I know this because of my past Pan Yoruba agrarian efforts, I was deeply involved and in researches I have participated across the SW region.
1) There is a solution: It involves both economic and political decisions. The starting point is Market Research on Lagos distribution sales ad consumers index. I trust the Ministry would have done this. The economic decision involves Ekiti opening up her own food depot in Lagos, building her own distribution channels at a cheaper cost and gradually, may be able to crack the vicious Lagos monopoly.
2) The second is Political Decision by contacting the Lagos State Government which should be able to facilitate and collaborate with Ekiti to build a joint Depot for the long term economic interest of the people of South West.
3) This South West Depot will create its own Wholesale and Retain hub. Let me thank the Ekiti State Ministry of Agriculture and the State Government for this lofty project. This further justifies the Cargo Airport of the Ekiti State Government otherwise, the other outlet would be the railway in Osogbo
This is another milestone in creative thinking.