On the sixth episode of Port Harcourt’s weekly tech and startup radio show, Rivers of Unicorns, guests on the show suggested that Nigeria should adopt technological practices that would help increase her farm yields.
Speaking on the topic “COVID-19: Opportunities in the Chaos, Rethinking Agriculture”, Aquila Kalagbor, founder Farmsby Limited and Lawrence Tamunokri, CEO of Farmers Creed spoke about recent trends in the agricultural sector since the novel coronavirus spread to Nigeria. According to them, there has been an attitudinal change and an appreciation for agriculture from both the old and the young.
Key Takeaways from the podcast
- Kalagbor dispelled the myth that farming is restricted to Northern Nigeria. He advised Nigeria’s Southern states to consider vertical farming to increase the value of their land. He also suggested that communities should implement cluster farming where they collectively produce a particular type of crop. Kalagbor argued that if the local government can provide the resources that the farmers need to practice cluster farming, it would enable them to produce at optimal levels.
- Lawrence supported this opinion by stating that by adopting this solution, communities would be practicing demand-driven agriculture by producing what the market needs. Furthermore, Lawrence advised young people who are interested in becoming players in the agricultural sector to focus on the end of the value chain e.g. processing and packaging of goods. He noted that among other benefits, this area is not as extensive and does not have as much risk.
- Kalagbor noted that the distribution of farm products is a problem because of our unstructured measuring system. However, he was optimistic that soon this would no longer be a problem as products such as garri can now be purchased in measured quantities in packaged form from shops and supermarkets.
- Lawrence called for Nigerian farmers to practice data-driven agriculture. He noted that our agricultural production can be improved by using insights from data to replicate the successes of farmers. According to him, some benefits of applying data analytics to agriculture include the ability to improve production by helping farmers understand the topography of different locations and helping them to know the feeds of particular lands. Farmers Business Network is an example of a company that has been able to help farmers achieve this.
Farmsby Limited is a digital agro-investment platform that leverages the power of crowdfunding to generate capital for African farmers.
Farmers Creed is an agritech company with automated solutions that help take the guesswork out of agriculture.
Rivers of Unicorns is broadcast every Friday at 2pm on Wish 99.5 FM.