Farmers In Action
Farmers in Ijebu have converged over the years to sell their produce every five days in Ijebu land but this often had many challenges. There was always chaos at the places of convergence around the Oba SK Adetona market with traders and consumers experiencing problems such as road congestion with the resultant consistent hold ups, street trading, theft and frequent road accidents.
For a long time, there was no solution in sight for the farmers in Ijebu on how to conduct their economic activities without glitches and the gruesome experience they often go through on their market days popularly known as Ita Osun. However, when the market association and their representatives participated in the SEDIN capacity building exercise, they saw a way forward.
The training which was on leadership (particularly for women actors), financial and management skills, advocacy, dialogue, negotiation, group/cooperative formation and communication for market associations empowered farmers and market leaders to take action.
And because they took action, the market groups have constructed an organised marketplace that houses:
- About 360 open stalls and 28 lock up shops which are all occupied
- Standard toilet and bathroom
- Organised security
- A Borehole
- Toilet and bathroom
- Incinerator for proper refuse disposal
- Parking lot for vehicles
- Financial/micro finance services outlet
- Successfully relocated road side traders to this market
- Generated over 1,000 direct and indirect employment as well as stable employment for the market users as against the roadside make shift.
Lessons For Other Markets
Building infrastructures for farmers to sell their produce is one of the most realistic ways to provide income and employment opportunities for groups in the agriculture value chains and improve livelihoods. From the people of Ijebu land, we can see significant growth within just four months. The market has recorded more sales and can boast of the ease of doing business. Things have become so organised that some farmers operate the trade by barter system within the market. With the new knowledge gained from the SEDIN intervention, Ojo Oloko has become a place of endless possibilities.
The Market Intervention
The market intervention is an initiative of the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme – SEDIN, a programme on employment creation under the Sustainable Economic Development Cluster (SEDEC). SEDIN is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with co-financing from the European Union (EU).
“Oja Oloko is the first of its kind in Ijebu land because of the timely intervention of GIZ, we now have a situation where we know that we can take ownership and solve our problems ourselves without waiting for anyone. From the success of this market, we also took action in our market by repairing our transformers ourselves. Before, we would wait for 6-8 months and just act stranded but now we take immediate action that makes us feel liberated and more productive.”
Alhaja K Abemagba
“The training we received is beyond this new market we built, personally, I have seen many changes in my life. I received a step-down training from those that went for the training in Abeokuta and I learnt several tactics that have brought peace into my home especially the financial literacy part. The leadership class also helped us in the market. Before now, we were always fighting and had more problems than solutions.”
Mrs. Iyabo Shittu
“I was part of the training organised by GIZ-SEDIN on leadership for market associations in Ogun state, after the training, we were told to come up with a project using all the theories we have learnt in practice. We then decided to build a Farmer’s Market (Oja Oloko) which we built in four months. Through this GIZ intervention and the leadership of Iya-Alaje of Ijebu land; Alaja Fausat Alatishe, we turned a thick forest into an economic hub for farmers in our community.”
Participant of the Market Intervention Training