With its significant contributions to the nation’s GDP and ability to engage over 70 percent of Nigeria’s labour force, agriculture remains the largest sector of the economy.
However, the ability of the sector to achieve its full potential arises from issues not unconnected to poor agricultural practices, lack of access to information and markets.
Agricultural extension market system is crucial to sustainably addressing these issues, but with a ratio of one extension agent to over 3500, the current system is grossly inadequate.
To address these issues, Farm Innovation Nigeria Limited with support from the Propcom Mai-Karfi project and UK Aid, launched its flagship product, “Farm Aid” in Adamawa and Gombe on March 10 and 12, 2020 respectively. The digitized agricultural extension platform leverages mobile technology to provide affordable and convenient digitized e-extension services to small holder farmers.
The platform was designed to provide farmers with up-to-date information on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) while connecting farmers to agro-input dealers and off-takers. It also provides them real-time weather information for climate-smart agriculture and other value-added services.
The innovative agricultural technology company is currently focusing on four crop value chains of rice, sorghum, tomato, groundnuts and livestock with plans for further expansion. With over 15,000 farmers on board across Gombe and Adamawa states, plans are in place to increase the current geographical coverage.
In his keynote address during the launch of the platform in Gombe State, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Magaji, appreciated the efforts being made by Farm Innovation Nigeria in implementing a commercially driven digitized agricultural e-extension service solution.