Agro-tech entrepreneurs, others advocate inclusion of data-driven farmers
Agro-tech entrepreneurs and innovators have recommended utilisation of technology and data to include small-holder farmers in higher productivity and change the tide of correlation between agriculture in Nigeria and poverty.
An entrepreneur, Kola Masha, who gave the advice, said: “Low economies of scale resulting from many different factors, such as poor access to finance, land issues, lack of extension services and more remain the reason Nigeria’s small-holder farmers experience low levels of productivity, which continue to threaten the country’s food security.”
“A 2017 survey of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) showed that more than 80 per cent of farmers in Nigeria are small-holders and they still account for more than 90 per cent of the agricultural outputs of the nation, yet they are less empowered.”
He said that the COVID-19 closures and restrictions had hugely exposed the already weak food security levels, leading to price hike in the market and a strain on consumers, thus showing why there is an urgent need to empower more small-holder farmers.
Uka Eje of Thrive Agric shared a similar view, saying: “Getting small-holder farmers the access they need to resources, which are crucial to their work and growth of the agricultural sector, is essential.”
Also, Ndidi Nwuneli, Managing Partner at Sahel Consulting and Debisi Araba, who is African Region Director, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CAIT), supported the idea of empowering the small-holder farmers.
Nwuneli said: “We need to know who needs what, where they are, what they need most, how that impacts the sector, the nation and much more. The reason this is extremely important can be seen in how fundamental and foundational it is, especially for resource allocation.”
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