Small hold farmers in rural areas account for over 80% agricultural production in Nigeria are extremely poor because of high post harvest loss estimated to be over 40% by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and a major reason for this problem is the difficulty farmers face in accessing and transporting their harvested produce to top buyers in urban areas and also accessing needful agricultural information so we created agro connect as a solution to this problem.
Agro connect is a digital market for farm produce and an agricultural data sourcing & analytics platform that gives farmers access to buyers, trucks for delivery and vital information that increases farmers income and productivity. Agro connect helps to simplify the farm produce supply chain in Nigeria and reduce the high post harvest loss that farmer suffer.
The services we offer are firstly, a digital agro market which uses a combination of internet and mobile short code, secondly, logistics and delivery of farm products through listed trucks on our platform, thirdly, agricultural data sourcing and information services. On Agro connect, farmers can list their harvested produce on our online platform or through mobile short code by texting HARVEST to 32811, we get these updates from them, upload it on our web platform and connect them to buyers. Produce buyers can purchase farm produce directly from farmers through our web platform and have the option of paying online. We regularly train farmers on best farming practices that can increase their crop yields, source for agricultural data/information, analyze it and relay the resultant information to farmers. By texting AGRO INFO to 32811 or online subscription, farmers can have access to information such as Up-to-date Produce price information across major markets, Best farming practices, farm produce in high demand, current post harvest technologies, where to get Seeds & Fertilizers, Pesticides, Agro machineries, Agricultural Funds etc. This information helps farmers make meaningful decisions that will increase their income and productivity. The value we provide to farmers and produce buyers are, Increase in sales of farm produce, good pricing, support on logistics, fast delivery, cut down long supply chain, simplified and convenient way of procuring of farm produce.
One very unique attribute of agro connect that differentiate us from other solutions is that we use a combination of internet and mobile short code service to bridge the gap between farmers and buyers and as such help thousands of farmers in Nigeria that usually don’t have smart phones connect to buyers and trucks and thus enable them sell their harvested farm produce to more buyers beyond their geographical location increasing their sales by over 100%. Within 5 months of starting agro connect, we have 586 farmers with a target of reaching 5000 farmers by third quarter of 2019 and have helped them sell over 11000kg of farm produce. Agro connect would greatly impact the agricultural sector of Nigeria by ensuring efficient distribution of agricultural produce from small hold farmers to other areas which will bring about an increase food production, reduce post harvest loss and ultimately reduce hunger in Nigeria. Agro connect contributes to achieving SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) in Nigeria by;
1. Leveraging on technology in transforming rural farmers into successful entrepreneurs
2. Contributing to the agenda of making Nigeria self sufficient in food production by making sure farmers get timely access to buyers and get information that will help them produce more and ensure sustainable food security.
3. Creating job opportunities for youths in the agro allied sector through agricultural extension agents.
4. Eliminating exploitative buying by multiple men in the supply chain by connecting farmers directly to buyers making them financial independent.
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