With the take-off of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the markets for agricultural commodities would be strengthened through the establishment of commodity marketing corporations around each of the commodities.
Hopefully, the Federal Government will support the development of private sector driven-marketing organizations to develop the agricultural sector.
When the Marketing boards were scrapped during the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), a vacuum was created as there were no institutions to replace them or play their roles.
This left millions of farmers in a precarious situation as they couldn’t dispose of their produce at guaranteed prices, and they lost direction on how to harness any gains. There were price uncertainties; frequent fluctuations and volatilities which left farmers at the mercy of middle-men who turned into emergency produce buyers.
Under ATA, marketing corporations and institutions would be owned by agricultural value-chains and run by the private sector, while government enabled institutions will be available to empower farmers and the value chain actors to generate value.
These new institutions, which would be called Marketing Corporations, will coordinate production and export of target commodities. They will also attract investment into the sector from Research and Development to infrastructure and processing.
They will also stimulate the development of tailored financial services to grow the sector.