Indications have shown that 25% of the global population would be in Africa, by 2050. There is, therefore, an urgent necessity, for the continent to expand its agricultural production capacity, to ensure that global food sustainability is maintained.
In view of this, it appears that the Sub Saharan African region, has the necessary resources required, to ensure food sustainability, having a vast expanse of fertile and unused land and a growing youth population.
There, however, appears to be a disconnect, with the market, a situation which has rendered farmers helpless, in accessing capital, quality assured inputs, adequate technical expertise and an insignificant influence, in the value chain.
Despite Sub Saharan Africa, having a significant portion of the world’s fertile land, farmers in the region, rarely, achieve profitability and commercial scale.
The scale now appears to be tilting, in favour of the farmers, as Farmz2U is deploying technology, to empower farmers, with data analytics that can support core operational processes and key decisions, with access to relevant stakeholders, in the value chain.
Farmz2U supports farming operations, across the entire value chain, while increasing farmer’s connectivity with key stakeholders.
Since launching in 2014, Farmz2U has worked towards the primary objective of reducing global food waste and enhancing food nutrition.
The agri-tech platform ensures that farmers adopt sustainable production methods that ensure high nutritional content of produce, in line with the United Nation’s SDG 3.
While the platform enhances food nutrition, by promoting responsible production among farmers in alignment, with united nations’ SDG 12.
With the application of tailored agricultural expertise and access to the market, Farmz2U assists farmers, to better execute their operations.
Farmz2U gets this done, by employing internal data that are specific, to a particular farm and its resources.
The platform also makes use of external data, such as historic crop yields and weather trends.
The technology is a ‘software as a service’ platform that can be accessed, through mobile phones, including feature phones and smartphones.
Farmz2U carries out its operations, with a team of 5;
Aisha Raheem, (Executive Director), Adebola Oyenuga, (Technical Director), Timi Akogün, (Product Director), Mary Asanga, (Agronomist) and Precious Ehiwario, (Sales Lead).
Farmz2U was born, out of a desire to achieve two things:
- enhance nutritional value of food
- reduce food waste
Enhancing nutritional value for food was, initially, targeted at end-consumers.
Farmz2U later, pivoted the idea, after discovering greater impact could be achieved, with farmers.
Farmz2U works, with academia and agricultural experts, to support expertise provided to farmers, with threats like soil degradation and climate change.
With the constant development of a more efficient farming process, Farmz2U provides farmers, with techniques like fertiliser microdosing and swarm robotics.
With data on the farm, like soil composition and weather, Farmz2U completes a detailed analysis of the resources that farmers need, like fertilizer or animal feeds.
Using data that are farm-specific, Farmz2U provides tailored agricultural expertise that can increase yields, with a more profitable harvest.
Utilising farm data and hardware, like soil sensors and drones, Farmz2U automate decision making for Farmers.
With historic data and regression analysis, farmers can view trends, in their location or value chain and make better decisions.
Farmz2U ensures that you can cater for your society, beyond feeding yourself.
The platform helps farmers increase sales and get to commercial scale. With partnerships with buyers, like FMCG companies and distributors.
Farmz2U guarantees farmers, the sale of their produce, after their harvest must pass the quality assurance tests.
Using its farming management platform, Farmz2U provides a suite of features that inform a farmer, on ‘what to grow’, ‘when to grow’ and ‘how to grow’.
Using the crowdsourced method, the platform supports farmers ‘key operations, ensuring farming methods are sustainable and optimise produce yield.
Farmz2U takes its farmers through the stages of growth, harvesting, storage and distribution.
Challenges In Deployment
Like most enterprises face, on the average, Farmz2U has seen its fair share of inadequate funding and conflicting priorities.
Nevertheless, Farmz2U has recorded its own unique challenges, peculiar to its kind of enterprise, which includes problems, such as poor access to infrastructure and low literacy, among others.
The platform has been able to address the former, by providing an offline-first mobile-first product design that, has limited reliability of infrastructure, like internet services.
On Female Tech Founders
Aisha Raheem, Executive Director, Farmz2U shared her thoughts, on why there appears to be a shortage, in the number of female tech entrepreneurs, in Nigeria and globally.
According to her, being an entrepreneur is a very challenging path to follow, however, access to resources and support makes this choice much easier.
There, however, appears to be an uneven and arguably, unfair distribution of resources, among sexes.
Data suggests that, in Africa, while there are more female entrepreneurs, they access a small percentage of capital, thus, fewer tech female entrepreneurs could be, as a result of greater resource requirement that is often inaccessible.
On STEM education, Aisha expressed the need for more women in STEM. “There are institutions already addressing this, like Pearls Africa Youth Foundation, but more can be done.
As a founder, I rarely come across women that can support our technical roles. Young girls should be encouraged, to participate in programs, like Hackathons, to expose them to opportunities in tech, from an early age”, Aisha stated.
According to Farmz2U, through working with the farmers, an increase, by up to 80% and post-harvest waste loss reduced, by a 40% average, has been recorded.
The platform has, also, supported local farmers, in securing insurance and selling their produce.
Farmz2U aims to support farmers, in their value chain journey, while getting them connected, with the necessary key stakeholders, beyond agri insurers and seedling providers.
Going by the increased local and international focus on agriculture, Farmz2U, aims to empower the next generation of modern farmers.
Featured Image: Farmz2U Core team members
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to cfamedia weekly digest for updates.