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Nine million rural farmers get mobile devices to boost agric outputs

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Over nine million farmers in rural areas have been provided with communication devices to access agricultural market and financial inclusion.

The intervention is to assist in improving the agriculture sector contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Group Chief Executive, Tingo International Holdings Inc, Dozy Mmobuosi has said. 

According to him, the branded mobile devices were sold to farmers with payment spread over three years to reduce the financial strain on them through Nwassa, a platform dedicated to African farmers.  

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“With the devices, we (Nwassa) provide up-to-date information to the farmers in real-time. Information that the platform passes across to the farmers includes weather forecasts and prices of farm input and produce”, he stated. 

According to reports, in 2019, agriculture in Nigeria contributed 21.91% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over the last decade, the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP has been upwards of 19.99%. 

At the forefront of the agrarian economy are the smallholder farmers who accounted for more than 80% of the farming populace. 
    
Mmobuosi said the strength of the Nwassa platform is in working with rural farmers, connecting other players in the value chain and creating a more convenient agribusiness ecosystem for all players in the industry. 

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He said the platform would help to improve agriculture in Nigeria and expand to other parts of the continent by improving the livelihood of the continent’s smallholder and rural farmers. 

“This is evident from Tingo International’s activities over the years, which include connecting farmers to off-takers and bringing them into the formal financial system with Tingo Pay, its in-house payment channel. 

“Beyond this, more than nine million Tingo branded mobile devices have been sold to these farmers with payment spread over three years to reduce the financial strain on them. 

According to him, access to extension service providers is another key feature on the Nwassa platform, adding that the goal is to bring every player in the agricultural ecosystem under the same umbrella. 

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“The firm is using Nwassa to empower every player in the agricultural value chain, using simple technology to enable easy access to the market as well as information.
 
“Access to timely extension services and off-takers that are readily available even before harvest are the reasons farmers on the Nwassa platform have recorded a sharp reduction in their post-harvest losses. 

“Nwassa is the ultimate answer for farmers all over the world, as every farmer’s need in every location can be addressed without undue challenges”. 

Mmobuosi said the platform would continue to work with more African farmers and players in the agricultural value chain toward improving the livelihood of rural and smallholder farmers. 

“One way Nwassa does this is through its microloan targetted at those within and outside the Nwassa platform. The microloan is designed to ensure that cheap credit is available to people while also bringing them into the financial fold. 

Mmobuosi said Nwassa has the potential to be a one-stop-shop for agriculture in Nigeria.

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