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May 21

Farmers are getting poorer while middlemen/merchants are getting richer.

1 comment

 

The key players in agricultural marketing are the middlemen and we can consider them the ultimate buyers. They are the bridge between farmers and the market (traders, wholesalers, retailers and consumers).The importance of Middlemen can never be over emphasized but sometimes they are seen as more of a curse than a blessing!

 

They underprice farmers in rural areas leaving them with little or no choice but to sell and they inflate prices when they bring food down to the urban areas where they know foods are needed in large quantities.

 

On the other hand, Middlemen go through a lot of risks trying to convey goods from the rural region to the cities, especially as it relates to the poor infrastructure in the country. They also have a lot of influence and power over the farmers and the market price of agricultural products than any other group within the value chain, providing them with the opportunity to make a lot more money than the farmers.

 

There is no doubt that Middlemen are very critical in the Nigerian Agricultural value chain but, how do we manage their reach and influence? And how do we make sure they transact fairly with farmers?

Great Piece...Finally someone is talking about this issue. In my opinion the reach and influence middle men can be managed by:

1. Government policies setting buying & selling price limits in the transaction between farmers & middlemen.

2. But more importantly, farmers should form a very formidable union that will protect them & their interests from the exploiting middlemen.