Tech connects African farmers despite $73b needed investment
As Nigeria and other African countries move to their improve Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with more earnings from the agricultural sector, millions of farmers are being connected with a new technology aimed at improving productivity and profitability.
But leading research body, Mckinsey, has noted that as much as $73 billion will be needed in irrigation and storage alone if the Sub-Saharan African region will achieve projected growth in the sector.
This is coming as GSMA, an industry organisation that represents the interests of mobile network operators put SIM connections in sub-Saharan Africa at 747 million, meaning that over 75 per cent of the population have access to mobile phones.
Indeed, while more than 60 per cent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa remain smallholder farmers, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tingo Mobile, Dozy Mmobuosi, stressed the need to connect farmers to market through digital solutions
To him, innovative digital platforms are critical to the growth of agriculture in the region as the development would give people the opportunity to engage in agribusiness anytime and on the go, by funding farms and trading of agricultural commodities.
In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited importation, an online platform, Nwassa, designed by Tingo Group, a United Kingdom and United States-based conglomerate and aided by mobile devices aimed at building a bridge to connect Africa farmers to the rest of the world.
With such initiative and more funding of the sector, Mckinsey had noted that Africa would produce two to three times more cereals and grains, which would add 20 per cent more cereals and grains to the current worldwide 2.6 billion tons of output as similar increases could be seen in the production of horticulture crops and livestock.
With the Nwassa platform, about 14.7 million farmers and agri-businesses have been registered while more than 9.32 million were provided communication devices and tools to access market and financial inclusion.
According to Mmobuosi, with the development, the sector will be provided an ecosystem that empowers rural farmers and agri-businesses by using simple technology to enable access to market and enable farm produce to be shipped from farms across Africa to any part of the world, in both retail and wholesale quantities.
He stated that Nigeria’s agricultural sector has a lot of potential within its value chain and over the years, companies have been making efforts to cash in on the immense opportunity, especially with smart services to accommodate the entire agricultural value chain in Africa.
“Our goal is to enhance the entire value chain by bringing every player under the same umbrella.
“Nwassa, which was launched in January 2019, is a holistic platform that attempts to connect every player in the entire agriculture value chain. The platform allows farmers to sell their farm produce in large quantities to buyers within and outside Africa,” Mmobuosi said.
According to him, Nwassa currently processes less than 500,000 transactions daily within the entire agricultural value chain.