The Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) and Heritage Bank have joined forces to create a structure for trading in wheat contracts and its allied products, that will also involve supporting over 100,000 farmers in wheat production
LCFE said in a statement that the collaboration was spurred on by the ongoing intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to position Nigeria as a net exporter of wheat, a development that has resulted in the disbursement of N41 billion to Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), including Heritage Bank, to produce quality wheat through accredited anchor borrowers.
Addressing members of the commodity market ecosystem, Akin Akeredolu-Ale, the managing director of LCFE, explained that the exchange’s primary function was to create a structured platform for fungible tradable instruments de-risked by way of forward contracts.
Akeredolu-Ale expressed delight partnering with Heritage Bank for the development of the commodities ecosystem, adding that the LCFE is committed to partnering with the bank to develop the wheat value chains by aggregating farmers, their commodities, and data for the overall development of the wheat value chain.
“Our involvement is in the primary input. The Exchange would continue to provide the necessary support to Heritage Bank through the alignment of various stakeholders and partners,” he noted.
He also commended the CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the current wheat production initiative and establishment of an environment for the development of commodities trading.
On his part, Olugbenga Awe, Heritage Bank’s divisional head, agribusiness, natural resources and project management, stated that Heritage Bank was committed to promoting agricultural value chains in Nigeria.
According to him, the bank’s involvement in the sector dates back many years and that it has always been at the forefront of ensuring the overall growth and development of commodities products in Nigeria.
Awe further noted that Heritage Bank is pleased to work with CBN and other stakeholders such as the wheat farmers association of Nigeria, wheat farmers, processors and marketers association of Nigeria, Lake Chad Research Institute and other development partners, Flour Mills of Nigeria and several seed companies, and others to support over 100,000 farmers in wheat production.
“We are glad to work with LCFE to ensure its sustainability and deepen investment opportunities in agricultural commodities, solid minerals and energy space,” he added.
Awe also assured that Heritage Bank will expand its footprints to other commodity value chains during planting season, adding that the bank is currently evaluating and reviewing expressions of interest from interested parties.