June 20, 2024


The Joy of Technology

Changing Nigeria’s Agric Landscape Through Innovation, Technology



The introduction of monitoring gadgets that allow farmers to ebook tractor services from local tractor house owners by using a cell mobile phone application, which is component of a programme not long ago unveiled by Hi Tractor in collaboration with Heifer International, will strengthen tractor ownership and warranty a fact for business people who come across it unattainable to get credit history as a result of usual channels, writes Festus Akanbi 

With scarcely a month to the close of the 2nd quarter of the year, anticipations are large that the federal govt will be ready to produce on its promise to guarantee the provision of thorough farm inputs to rural farmers as a way of boosting desire in agricultural follow with a corresponding boost in food items manufacturing for domestic reasons and exports. 

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Growth, Mr. Mohammad Abubakar, had at the 2021 finances general performance and 2022 budget defence session at the Nationwide Assembly promised that detailed farm input, amongst many others, would be offered to rural farmers by way of stakeholders this sort of as the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) for the fiscal inclusiveness in the agricultural sector, to mitigate the adverse results of COVlD-19 and support farmers impacted by incidents of flood catastrophe. 

However, as the third quarter beckons, watchers of the nation’s economy say funding is even now a big offer to agric smallholders in Nigeria. 

Meanwhile, out there studies confirmed that in the third quarter of 2021, Nigeria’s agricultural sector grew by 1.22 for every cent in true terms in comparison to the exact period of the earlier 12 months.

It is a simple fact that agriculture is a vital action for Nigeria’s economic climate right after oil. Analysts reported that Nigeria’s agricultural sector has significant development potential, but that this opportunity is not getting realised due to quite a few good reasons.

To start with, efficiency is small and stagnant. In addition to this, farming units, which are largely smaller in scale, are nonetheless predominantly subsistence-based mostly and for the most component, count on the vagaries of the temperature.

These developments did not deliver any cheering information. For instance, $22 billion is put in each individual yr on food items importation and as of March 2022, the inflation amount accelerated to 15.7%, food stuff inflation rose to 17.20% and meals rates jumped much more than 20%.

When need for food items is increasing, the provide side faces the worries of altering environmental and climatic problems, dwindling h2o offer, scarcity of arable land and farming inputs, the immediate charge of urbanisation that is cutting down obtainable land for agriculture, and a host of other complications.

To mitigate these troubles, farmers must go on to innovate and embrace digital know-how to make improvements to productivity to fulfill domestic and exterior need. That’s why, the will need for the transformation to digital or good agriculture.

Systems these as cell telephony, robotics, distant sensor engineering, the World-wide-web of Factors (IoT), major info, artificial intelligence, and a lot of many others, offer the agricultural field with the resources and information to make additional knowledgeable choices and raise productiveness.

 New Options

 However, as the Nigerian financial state is opening up to private investments, new prospects are rising and are currently dwarfing some of the difficulties experiencing the agricultural sector in the region. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria, like some other customers of the African continent, is starting to get pleasure from immediate interventions which assure to boost its agricultural financing.

Tractor Funding

1 of such direct interventions came from Heifer Global, which lately declared that it is investing $1 million in the tractor booking system, Good day Tractor, to give loans for tractor purchases—loans that can be repaid from revenues earned by leasing them to nearby farmers.

The programme, “Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Tractor Funding for Greater Agricultural Efficiency in Nigeria,” now has enabled tractor purchases in the states of Nasarawa, Abuja, and Enugu. These purchases, according to the company, could make tractors available to hundreds of smallholder farmers through the progressively common Hello Tractor leasing system.

 Sometimes referred to as Uber for tractors, Hello Tractor features application and monitoring equipment that allow for farmers to ebook tractor companies from neighborhood tractor house owners by using a cell cellphone application.

“We formulated the PAYG programme to make tractor ownership—and the reliable earnings these devices can bring—a truth for business owners who locate it unachievable to get credit score by way of usual channels,” reported Jehiel Oliver, Founder, and CEO of Hi there Tractor.

“We glimpse at the earnings tractor house owners can generate, not how a great deal collateral they can pledge.”

Oliver claimed that partnering Heifer “enables us to prolong revolutionary funding to people today who had been earlier regarded as ‘unbankable,’ when escalating entry to technology that has the potential to make improvements to the incomes of thousands and thousands of smallholder farmers across Africa.”

Unlocking Funds for Youths

On the other hand, Senior Vice President of Africa Programmes at Heifer International, Adesuwa Ifedi, who unveiled the Hello Tractor Pay-as-you-go Tractor programme past thirty day period in Abuja stated that “The pay out-as-you-go design offers financing for business people who want to develop work by capitalising on the demand from customers for tractor solutions on African farms, but who deficiency common types of collateral”, introducing that the gesture is a way to unlock capital for youth who have robust business techniques that can assist renovate African agriculture but are normally ignored by personal equity buyers.

Partnership with Local Economies

Since 1944, Heifer Intercontinental has worked with a lot more than 39 million people close to the planet to stop starvation and poverty sustainably. Functioning with rural communities across Africa for 47 many years, Heifer Worldwide supports farmers and local meals producers to fortify regional economies and establish safe livelihoods that present a living profits.

 Ifedi spelled out that the company’s strategic intention more than the next 8-10 several years is to guide a lot more than 1 million farmers (largely youthful adult males and ladies) to attain a sustainable residing money by 2030, through strategic private and general public sector partnerships, unlocking need and sector possibilities, leveraging finance throughout precedence value chains, and leveraging innovation and rising agricultural technologies to achieve transformational scale.

“Heifer thinks leveraging technologies and fashionable practices will make a pathway for Nigeria and other African nations around the world to increase efficiency and competitiveness of the agricultural sector to curb food items insecurity and poverty. Extra development can also be reached with the involvement of the largest team in the population – the youth – in all phases of agriculture,” she said.

She added that with Nigeria’s populace at the moment estimated at more than 200 million people and escalating at 3.2% a yr, feeding 200 million people and a projected 400 million by 2050 will be a overwhelming problem. 

With extra than 75 many years of investing and technically contributing to agricultural transformation programmes globally, Heifer Global is repositioning its work in Africa to consist of financial investment in infrastructure, younger social business owners, and technologies to assistance the continent’s agricultural sector leapfrog.

Heifer Global for far more than 4 many years has been a reliable associate for smallholder farmers throughout Africa combining the electrical power of African youth with the several alternatives of rising systems.

 According to Ifedi, “Globally, there are approximately 200 tractors for every 100 sq. kilometers of agricultural lands, but in sub-Saharan Africa, there are only about 27. This is illustrative of a mechanization deficit.

The deficit has a substantial impression on farm efficiency and neighborhood economies in a area where by most people depend on smallholder farming for income.

“Hello, Tractor is one of lots of new agritech commence-ups rising throughout the continent that are discovering business alternatives in addressing this and other farming troubles.

Nonetheless, although personal fairness groups and massive impact investors have presented much more than $5 billion for tech startups in Africa, extremely minimal of that funding has gone to younger agritech entrepreneurs,” she observed.

 In 2021, Heifer Worldwide produced the AYuTe Africa Problem, which awards dollars grants on a yearly basis to the most promising youthful agri-tech innovators across Africa. It also supports Heifer’s goal of aiding additional than 6 million African farmers to receive a sustainable dwelling revenue by 2030. The Pay As You Go Tractor design was a fallout of this yearly African challenge competition.

 The inaugural AYuTe Africa Obstacle awarded a full of $1.5 million to two organizations, of which Hi there Tractor is a person. The award authorized Good day Tractor to finance 17 tractors for 17 business people in a few nations.

Ifedi expressed the belief that Heifer’s today’s investment decision in the PAYG item will give more business people and smallholder farmers obtain to tractor companies at an very affordable price and in convert raise farm productiveness, employment, foods safety, and farmer livelihoods in Nigeria.

 Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with extra than 39 million people today all over the world to end starvation and poverty sustainably. Operating with rural communities throughout Africa for 47 many years, Heifer Global supports farmers and neighborhood foods producers to strengthen community economies and build secure livelihoods that give a living income.


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