AgroCola operates as a cooporative of young farmers and agribusiness enthusiasts in Ekiti state. The partnership with the Ekiti state government seeks to onboard over 10,000 young persons under various categories covering the several agricultural value chains from farming to offtaking between now and 2022.
The scheme is poised to support them in the cultivation of soy beans, rice, and maize by providing them with access to credit, land, agronomy and extension support, and other multiplier benefits like pension and health insurance.
AgroCola’s Projects in Ekiti State
We will champion the cultivation of multiple rice hectares in a tech-supported and youth-driven rice production project in Ekiti state. This project covers land allocation, credit provision, relevant training programmes and agronomy and extension support that spans through every stage of rice production from seed selection, top-dressing, water management to post-harvest. The onboard young participants will basically be assisted in employing best rice farming practices to achieve both the best rice yield and quality with a view to meeting global standards.
Part of our goals is to exponentially increase Nigeria’s maize production and consequently its export. This will be achieved through proper digitized integration of all value chains of maize production placed in the hands of the most productive group – the youth.
Agrocola’s maize project in Ekiti state targets achieving the above though a multi-hectare youth-driven massive maize production. With digitized agronomy and extension support, the project will also include soil test value, real disease and pest occurrence studies.
Soy bean Project
AgroCola will commit its digital agricultural capabilities to support the cultivation of thousands of soybean hectares in Ekiti state. Our extension agents and agronomists will be deployed to provide needed, detailed and tailored support to onboard farmers.
The platform is also tasking itself with providing intensive world-class training on soybeans farming with digital solutions. The goal is to help AgroCola young farmers have the best farming experience, understand the agribusiness potentials of soybeans, and achieve high yields that meet global standards.
The above training will also be accompanied by simplified, calendarized and digitized training materials to ensure participants better internalize best soybeans farming practices. It will also help consolidate their knowledge of using the ADAP software to achieve high yield.
The thrust of AgroCola’s partnership with Ekiti state in a cumulative 10,000-hectare production of rice, soy beans and rice, is in the efficient application of digital technology at the hands of tech savvy young persons in the state. This way, their productive instincts will be harnessed to boost agriculture and agribusiness in the state. To drive the goals of this partnership, the platform has committed itself to delivering the following components:
Youth Farmer Onboarding
With the AgroCola Digital Agricultural Platform (ADAP), we will conduct self and remote farmer and farm registration alongside onboarding of interested young Ekiti farmers and agripreneurs. This includes a fast and easy verification process using ADAP’s identity management feature.
Interested persons will only have to log onto the website or access the app through their smartphones, select the category they would like to participate in and follow the prompts to provide required details. The verification process is capable of capturing, creating and validation a large number of profiles in a short while thereby making it easier for as many persons to join as possible.
The AgroCola Digital Agricultural Platform (ADAP) software is designed to meet all financial requirements of participants. This means that every payment within the platform will be made using Cola – a digitized and tokenized payment system for all AroCola participants. This system will ensure prompt interactions among the value chains and, consequently, guarantee a higher impact of all the AgroCola projects in Ekiti state.
Extension and Agronomy
With the aid of our digital technology designed to assist farmers in crop production, we will provide digitized and calendarized extension and agronomy body of knowledge tailored to individual farm and crops in the state. Asides ensuring high yield and easier farming experience, this will allow for data generation and analyses of farming practices.
Consequently, it will ensure that it is easier to make yield predictions and determine required inputs for Ekiti youths who are passionate about agriculture. This support will apply to all the different projects to be carried out in Ekiti state and to all participants.
The Ekiti state government holds several crucial components for the success of the AgroCola scheme in the state. Therefore, a partnership is important and will allow the government step in in the areas of:
Facilitation of Youth Engagement
Effective youth engagement activities are essential for the success of an initiative such as AgroCola with high impact potential. This is as it is designed to accommodate even young persons with no prior experience in commercial agriculture or those who haven’t engaged in agribusiness at a large scale. Therefore, the state government, through its relevant agencies and parastatals, will be needed to facilitate planned youth engagement programmes under the AgroCola scheme.
Study shows that almost every young person in Ekiti state will productively engage in commercial agriculture with information technology if they are provided with the right tools. Arable land is one of such tools. Therefore, to allow for massive participation of young persons in the state, AgroCola counts on the state government in providing contiguous land to interested participants.
Research and Innovation
As part of its commitment towards continuous improvement of agricultural production and the social significance of a youth-led agricultural production, AgroCola’s partnership with the Ekiti state government will attract the establishment of a world-class research lab in a higher institution in the state.
The lab will focus on powering data-based research so that data collected from Agrocola’s field operations will be transformed into data-driven methods of improving youth participation and better outcomes using digital technology in agronomy, extension, animal husbandry, storage/post-harvest management, logistics, and microfinance in agricultural value chains. The developmental impact of having one of these labs in Ekiti will be significant even from the first few months of its establishment.
Additionally, as evident in other sectors dominated by the youth, adequately introducing and supporting young Ekiti persons and digital technology across all agricultural value chain will cause a trend of innovation. This is projected to result in sustainable solutions for such challenges as sub-optimal yield, post-harvest loss, logistics and financial exclusion in agriculture and, by extension, the Ekiti state economy.