A Nigerian agric technology company, Thrive Agric, Tuesday recived a $1.75 million co-investment grant from USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub).
The Trade Hub is a USAID-funded initiative to co-invest with the private sector to generate new private investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports in West Africa.
The fund will support 50,000 smallholder women and youth farmers growing rice, maize and soybean, a statement by Trade Hub explained.
The farmers targeted are majorly located in Kaduna, Kebbi and Kano States.
The farmers will receive agronomy advisory services, pre-and post-harvest storage and logistics support, links to credit and agriculture insurance products, and access to the company’s current and future mobile apps.
Aside from this paternership, Thrive Agric says it will raise at least $10 million to fund this support.
The project’s success will see at least 50,000 metric tons of rice, maize, and soybean produced by the end of the 2021 season, which will be sold to premium markets and result in farmers enjoying higher-than-normal incomes.
In addition, the project will create 1,000 jobs for others involved in the agricultural value chain, including for prospective farm, field, and warehouse managers.
Nearly 70 per cent of these jobs will go to women, who are often overlooked for higher-paying managerial positions.
“Existing efforts to support smallholder farmers tend to follow traditional approaches to boost their agricultural productivity, such as commercial firms integrating them into value chains through modern inputs,” said Ayodeji Arikawe, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Thrive Agric.
“We know that most smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth, require more nuanced support to facilitate their participation in markets and, ultimately, increase food security and incomes at the household and national levels.”
“I look forward to seeing the company’s success in using tech solutions to benefit these farmers,” said Michael Clements, Trade Hub’s Chief of Party. “The lessons learned through their tech-savviness can be leveraged to assist future partners seeking innovative avenues to assist stakeholders in the agricultural value chain.”
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