Meadow Foods Nigeria Limited through its GrowIT project has completed the registration and farmland mapping of 20,000 smallholder farmers in Adamawa and Gombe States.
In a statement on Thursday following an alignment meeting with GrowIT Entrepreneurs (GEs), held in Yola, Adamawa State, GrowIT Project Manager, Godfrey Joseph, said “the registration and mapping would improve efforts at providing tailored advisory to each farmer with the goal of implementing climate-smart practices, which in turn will lead to quality and increased yields so that farmers could have access to premium markets and earn decent profits”.
Joseph said, “One of the challenges smallholder farmers face is the lack of advisory on best practices, leading to poor yields due to the effects of climate-change”.
“What we have accomplished today is ground breaking. Through the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates which we have integrated in our app, we detect preselected positions in a farm field for soil sample collection. Therefore by leveraging the technology of precision agriculture, we provide customized advisory to farmers per the amount of water, fertilizer and pesticides needed for each part of their fields”, he added.
On her part, Adaku Omidosu, Co-founder of the GrowIT Project said, “the importance of technology in agriculture is a no brainer because it has been proven to lead to higher crop productivity, reduced impact on natural ecosystems and safer foods”.
Omidosu commended the efforts of the GEs whose dedication made the feat possible. “We could not have done this without our hard-working micro-franchisees whom we call GEs. These GEs are trained to support smallholder farmer collectives with services including soil-testing and personalized seeds, crop nutrient, fertilizers, pest management best practices recommendations, land-boundary mapping services using geo-spatial technology and supports to build a transaction history that enable them access credit for climate-smart inputs, while linking them to higher-value output markets”, she said.
Omidosu added that the support from USAID’s Rural Resilience Activity implemented by Mercy Corps has made it possible for her organization to build more resilient farming communities who are better able to adapt to and mitigate shocks and stresses brought about by climate change, a dwindling economy and insecurity.
She assured that her organization would work with smallholders to ensure a win-win situation with the provision of free tailored advisory and strategic linkages to premium markets while ensuring that her GEs earn commissions from each of the services they render to the farmer collectives in her organization’s radar.
Responding on behalf of other GEs, Janet Bowman thanked the management of Meadow Foods GrowIT Project, saying, “we’re so grateful to the management for paying us our commissions as and when due”. Adding that “the project has opened our eyes to the untapped potential of agriculture as a business in the North-East. We’ve also seen that even the most uneducated farmer, can be climate-smart in his farming methods. We’re so happy to be a change agents in our communities”.
Meadow Foods disclosed that the GrowIT project was designed on proven business models which showed that leveraging an integrated solution that digitizes soil to shelf helps smallholders and agricultural MSMEs to become more resilient to shocks and market forces.