Agriculture

We are using artificial intelligence (AI) and satellite imaging to map the farms in Nigeria – Adewale

In this interview, Adewale Adegoke, the founder of AgroXchange talks about using information technology , drones and geo-mapping to drive crop production and easing access to market for farmers. He also speaks on the role the government must take in order to ensure food security in the country.

What is the unique thing about AgroXchange as a service provider to the farmers in particular and agro allied space as a whole?

The AgroXchange is a geospatial database of farms and farmers that leverages the market penetration of smart devices in Nigeria and the GPS location component of smart phones to facilitate rapid data collection and information dissemination in real-time and near real-time. The main objective of the geospatial database is to reduce the cost of doing business for farmers, aggregators, offtakers, and processors in establishing market linkages.  We are bridging the gap of availability of disaggregated farm data, access to markets, commodity trade facilitation and ensuring traceability. AgroXchange is premised on the principle that every farmer is a business entity and demonstrates Orbital Solutions goal to drive insight.

Why use drone in agriculture?

In the terms of use,   with our technology that we have deployed, we try to address the critical questions of who is producing what, where are they being produced and how healthy are these products.  We try to use technology to answer these critical questions.  We try to bring the farmers and the aggregators together. How do we do these? We deploy drones, and these types of drones are multi spectrum drones that use the photosynthesis via infrared technology to monitor the health of the crop. The healthier (greener) crops give out higher infrared via photosynthesis. We use drones to map these farms.

In terms of funding, are you public sector or private sector driven?

As of now, we are strictly a private sector venture, but we are open to talks with the  government and also we can engage in public private partnership (PPP) is still open to us. As of today, we are private driven, but we are open to government discussion. We believe that government can create an enabling environment and partner with us. We try to present to the government to use our outcome for the people. We believe that we can work with the government and make Nigerian farmer scale up. We have partnered with flying labs.

You have a series of partnerships, one is Flying Labs, and can we know about this?

Flying labs license, we got it to work in Nigeria, it is an international body that is in charge of drone.  This body gives license to operate the drones for either charity purpose or social. We have the license and we are able to apply drone technology and build capacity. We pursued this license to strengthen our capacity for innovation and identify our key prospects. Having such license would expose and introduce one of  many benefits. We do get free software; we are introduced to different partners from government to non-governmental organizations. We are also going to be assembling drones in Nigeria. We also intend to build capacity in this area so that youths can start their drone businesses and earn a good living from this. 

As a new technology in Nigeria, what do you think that government can do to ensure smooth adaption and take of this technology in agriculture?

The critical thing is that the government has to create an enabling environment. There has to be some policies that would support us, we have agriculture transformation agenda (ATA), but that is not enough! We must ensure that more youths come into the picture. Yes, government is trying , but there should be interventions such as aggregator program, policies and laws.  If you look at the aggregator program, it just generates demands and when we have a robust aggregator program in place, People would start seeing agriculture as attractive. But we must know that one person can’t do the mapping in Nigeria. We must start providing drone licenses for people. This is an opportunity for youths to gain employment and these drones in agriculture has the capacity of generating hundreds of thousand jobs for the government and also boost the revenue of the

farmers. 

What about the security of deploying drones in the nooks and crannies of country?

There are things we must understand, yes, I totally understand the security perspective but we have organizations like Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that can give drone licenses to people for strictly farming purposes, there can be collaborations with the ministry of agriculture or interior, ours is to ensure that we have food security and maximum yields using the drone technology to map out arable lands in Nigeria. It would serve as data for planning in the future. We must start looking at this type of technology as a nation and we are here to offer that. We have to open up this drone space.  The regulatory bodies must start upping their game here. This is a huge market and more attractive to the youths. We can have requirements such as providing flight logs etc.

 How have you been able to impact on  the lives of farmers etc.?

The aggregator program generates demands through mapping, Nigeria is a huge nation and we can train different youths to key into this emerging technology.  We are developing artificial intelligence (AI) solution with satellite imaging that would be used to map the farms in Nigeria and this would help in productivity in agriculture.  We have developed partnerships that would cascade to the farmers. We are using this to map the farm plots; we are innovating to make the farmers have better yield and access to market. In some cases when we do mapping we collect the names of farmers if government wants to collect land use charges.

So what are collaborations with academic institutions?

Nigerian academic institutions are not serious people, they just want to sit down and write papers, they don’t have the capacity to see the future. We have written to many academic institutions, yet their attitude is lukewarm. We focus on innovation and the academic community ought to be involved here, but unfortunately, they don’t look serious. Though, we have partnered with foreign universities like the one in Minnesota and foreign ones are more serious. I have to be frank here; the Nigerian academics are not serious people. There was a time we wrote a document that is about the alliance for food security in Nigeria, this document is a tripartite one that has the government, private sectors and academic community in it. It should have been a collaborative one, but unfortunately, the academic didn’t come through, they don’t care how the student would benefit.  If for us to deliver value we have to partner with institution that recognize value and it seems that Nigerian academics don’t recognize value and we really want to partner with them especially in the agro exchange platform.

Do you facilitate business for farmers and end users such as big firms and ease access to market for these farmers?

Yes, that is why we do mapping, with mapping; clients can see what they want and where they are. We have the database and these are what end users want and for the farmer we have eased their access to market. One of the critical things that affect the income of farmers in Nigeria is value chain and we try to bridge that through partnership.  We are profiling over two hundred and seven thousand farmers and we the mapping, clients come to us. It is technology and we don’t hide this.

Are the farmers ready to key into this program considering factors like culture and education?

Well, some are reluctant, they have the mentality that government wants to collect their lands, it takes a lot of efforts to convenience these guys because over time people have gone to these farmers to collect money from them under the auspices of intervention programs yet they don’t and also the government factor. Then politics, the leaders of farmers association are tied to political affiliations.  The issues of cultural factors are there. It is much easier in the North than the  South. We are currently working in Borno, Akure, Ondo, Gombe, Kaduna Yobe, Jigawa , Kebbi  and Sokoto states.

Want are the challenges that you face in this job?

Climate change has been an issue for us here I mean the extremities of weather patterns in the South which is flooding, in the North, high temperature and desertification. Also uptake, uptake can be slow especially when it has to do with government and donors due to interest. This mitigates the swift deployments and it creates a barrier for us. The educational attainment of small holders’ farmers is a challenge because they don’t understand IT and how it works and that is why we work with aggregators. Security is not much of a problem. We are used to it.

We are moving into 2020. What would be your contribution to agro allied sector?

We are looking at data as a service to those that are interested in our data, commodities trading and also strengthen our partnerships. We hope to increase the income of farmers by partnerships with aggregators and research institutions.

There was a time we wrote a document that is about the alliance for food security in Nigeria, this document is a tripartite one that has the government, private sectors and academic community in it. It should have been a collaborative one, but unfortunately, the academic didn’t come through, they don’t care how the student would benefit.  If for us to deliver value we have to partner with institution that recognize value and it seems that Nigerian academics don’t recognize value and we really want to partner with them especially in the agro exchange platform.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Agriculture Business Featured Finance News Society Sponsored Technology Telecoms

USSD LAUNCH: NIGERIA’S NO. 1 AGRITECH COMPANY EXPANDS ACCESS TO QUALITY FARM INPUTS.

post-image

 

Information technology is a driver of any sector and boosts productivity; agriculture inclusive. In a bid to ensure that food production and security are improved, AFRIMASH Company Limited, an indigenous agriculture eCommerce platform has introduced a ground-breaking USSD technology and Agent Network system for farmers to have access to farm inputs at the click of a button. The Company has been described as innovative and the first of its kind in the country by industry watchers and stakeholders. Afrimash is positioned to improve the way farmers are engaged in the rural parts of the country using these two technologies.

Our USSD code, *2282*2#, and Agent Network System are unique in the Agri-tech ecosystem and are posed as solutions to the challenges farmers face in rural communities. Speaking to the media on the importance of the newly introduced USSD technology, Ayoade Ahmed Oyedotun, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Afrimash…

Read More
Business Events Investments News Society Technology Trends

FINTRAK BRINGS INNOVATIVE TECH SOLUTIONS TO THE RWANDA FINANCIAL ECOSYSTEM

post-image

 

 

 

Fintrak Software Limited, an indigenous financial technology firm based in Lagos with an international footprint in various African country recently held banking and financial industry of Rwanda in awe with the reintroduction of their solution known as ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION. A software application that is designed for businesses to boost productivity and reduce human error in all the areas of their enterprise. The Fintech also presented their credit management solution known as CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION, the event was held at the KIGALI MARRIOT HOTEL, in the Rwandan capital City.

Speaking to the Rwanda financial ecosystem, the company described the Credit management solution as a software that was designed to help banks meet the need to identify, measure, monitor and control credit risk as well as to determine that they hold adequate capital against these risks and that they are adequately compensated for risks incurred. The Credit Risk 360 solution…

Read More
Announcements Business Finance Gadgets Technology Technology Trends Trends

Binance Announces Global Advisory Board

post-image

Binance (www.Binance.com), the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is pleased to announce the creation of its new Global Advisory Board (GAB), comprised of distinguished experts in public policy, government, finance, economics, and corporate governance.

 

The Global Advisory Board, chaired by former US Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, recently convened in Paris, France. The board’s purpose is to advise Binance on some of the most complex regulatory, political, and social issues the entire crypto industry faces as it grows and evolves at a fast pace.

“For the past five years, Binance has been at the forefront of pioneering the exciting new world of crypto, blockchain, and Web3,” said Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao. “In that time, we’ve tackled complex issues no one even knew existed. We’ve maintained our focus throughout on delivering compliance solutions that protect the interests of crypto users, while keeping…

Read More
Business Fashion Society Sponsored Tourism Travels Trends

Africana X plosion – From Nigeria to the World; Africana set standards for success in Africa

post-image

The merry sound of clinking glasses, hearty laughter and afrobeats music permeated the cool September evening at Rue Marconi Zone 4, a posh business district in the Ivorien port city of Abidjan. The motley crowd of extremely well and colourfully dressed individuals gathered at the brilliantly lit venue were celebrating the grand opening of an Africana X (https://shopAfricana.co) flagship store – the first of its kind outside of Nigeria.

VIDEO

 

By establishing this new store in Abidjan, a city that widely reflects the culture of French speaking West Africa, the Africana (https://bit.ly/3R7Wv8m) brand made significant statement of intent – that they are taking the lead in the movement to propagate African fashion on a global scale.

Perhaps, this explains…

Read More
Announcements Business Education Events Featured Investments News Society Tourism Travels Trends

THINK CANADA FAIR BRINGS INTERNATIONAL STUDY EXPOSURE TO ALL NIGERIANS IN THEIR FORTHCOMING EVENT

post-image

 

 

The need for people to have international exposure in today’s highly competitive workplace becomes important and imminent. This has made a lot of Nigerians to think of schooling in reputable international universities that will avail them the great opportunities of modern workplace and globalized world. In line with this narrative, Think Canada Fair is bringing to Nigerians that are willing to utilize the opportunities of schooling in Canada a platform with Canada 2023 at Nigeria’s Biggest Study Fair this October.

The Think Canada Fair is bringing together an array of top Canadian Universities, alongside their representatives, to the biggest study fair in Nigeria. Happening across 3 major cities in Nigeria, the annual event is scheduled to be held in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt on October: 14th, 15th, 18th and 20th 2022 respectively.

Speaking to the media in a press conference, the Marketing Manager, Femi Olatunji said, “we are looking forward…

Read More
Business Events Health Interviews News Opinion Society

MOPPET BABY FORMULA:AFTER ONE YEAR IN BUSINESS NIGERIANS ARE HAPPY WITH THE PRODUCT!!! 

post-image

 

Baby formula has been expensive and one of the biggest fear that new parents have. In short in Nigeria they will tell you that one should use protection because the cost of NAN and other cereal is expensive. Having seen and noticed the plight of Nigerian in terms of feeding their infants with good foods that are created specifically for the Nigerian infants. Roberta Edu, a serial businesswoman and a core IT expert established Moppet to cater for these sets of Nigerians.

Just after a year of doing business. A business that came up during the COVID 19 lock down when shops where closed and there is need to feed kids. Being a mother Roberta researched on the best way to feed her lovely child when the shops and malls are closed. She came up with Moppet. A business born out of idea and COVID 19 lock down.

Speaking on the…

Read More
Business Investments News Security Society Technology Technology Trends

Ukheshe and Digital PayGo drive Zambian business growth through the SME in-a-box Merchant Solution

post-image

Ukheshe’s SME in-a-box solution is making tangible changes to the lives of millions in Zambia through a partnership with Digital PayGo, improving financial inclusion and enhancing business dealings for entrepreneurs.

Digital PayGo, a local Zambian fintech driving a mobile-first approach, enhancing the digital payment space for SMEs, is the first partner to utilise Ukheshe’s SME in-a-box solution to its fullest extent and provides a range of virtual financial services to its customers.

“We’re so proud to be the technology partner enabling Digital PayGo in their partnership with Zambian bank Zanaco and Mastercard to implement this solution,” says Mark Dankworth, President of Business Development in Africa at Ukheshe.

“In line with Mastercard’s vision of enabling 50 million SMEs by 2025, the relationship between Ukheshe and Digital PayGo was a natural fit, given our shared…

Read More
Business Society Technology

NITDA INTENSIFIES COMMITMENT TO CREATE A DIGITALLY FORMIDABLE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE

post-image

NITDA INTENSIFIES COMMITMENT TO CREATE A DIGITALLY FORMIDABLE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has continued to display its commitment to the sustainability of a digitally transformed Nigeria by engaging the workforce of various Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) in capacity development programmes to create a digitally formidable federal public service towards the realization of a digital Nigeria.

This was revealed at the closing ceremony of a capacity-building programme organised by NITDA for 100 participants from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Military and Paramilitary agencies who were trained on Digital Literacy and Skills, Cybersecurity Essentials and Cloud Computing.

Giving his closing remark at the event, the NITDA Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE expressed his pleasure at the participants for their active participation and contribution to class activities throughout the programme while urging them to be good ambassadors of the knowledge gained in their various organisations.

The DG who…

Read More