Data released by the United Nations shows that about 278 million people in Africa, around one- fifth of the continent’s total population, are affected by hunger as of 2021. This figure is about 50 million higher than in 2019.
The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises showed that at least one in five Africans goes to bed hungry and an estimated 140 million people on the continent face acute food insecurity.
Amidst worsening climate change challenges that are leading to crop losses, parched land, loss of cattle, goats, and camels as well as rising prices food prices, especially grains, farmers in Africa have been confronted by challenges of funding, lack of mechanized farming, access to market, food waste and others.
These prevailing situations not only threaten mortality rate and burden an already struggling public health sector on the continent but place the achievement of The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in jeopardy and making poverty reduction a tall order.
These developments mean that food insecurity remains a critical concern for Africa and may persist in the face of the continent’s rapid population expansion.
Coming at a time of a population spurt and a high rise of poverty on the continent, the growing use of technology, especially mobile technology, provides a viable option for farmers to improve their yields, protect their crops and find markets for their produce.
Technology giant, Tingo has successfully done this in Nigeria, with over 10 million farmers, many of whom are using its Nwassa platform and using mobile technology to solve the most critical challenges that these farmers are facing.
With a recent expansion into Ghana and a host of other countries expected in the coming years, Tingo has used 2022 to make a bold step towards pan-African expansion with the aim of putting farmers first and bringing forward socio-economic upliftment of populations.
In Ghana, Tingo Mobile seeks to work closely with the Ghanaian Government and its Ministry of Food and Agriculture to foster Ghana’s agriculture sector’s contribution towards Gross Domestic Product. Ghana is currently looking to grow its GDP from the agricultural sector in excess of 25 per cent by 2025.
Tingo Ghana also agreed on a landmark trade deal with the Kingdom of Ashanti, through the Ashanti Kingdom Investment Trust. The Kingdom of Ashanti presides over Ghana’s Ashanti Region, which has a population of approximately 5.4 million, and through its dominant position in Ghana and Ghana’s agricultural sector, also has significant influence over much of the country’s population of 32 million. Under the terms of the trade deal, the Ashanti Kingdom Investment Trust has committed to enroll a minimum of 2 million new members with Tingo within 120 days of signing and has agreed on a target to increase such enrollments to at least 4 million members.
Tingo Mobile is replicating in Ghana the same proven business model that has generated almost than $820 million of revenues n Nigeria in the first half of 2022. In addition to rolling out its Nwassa Agri-Fintech marketplace platform in Ghana, Tingo Mobile also plans to launch the TingoPay SuperApp, to include payment services, supported through itspan-African partnership with Visa.
The Nwassa platform is expected to benefit from significant revenues on both the buy-side and sell-side in Ghana where, because of more developed agricultural practices, farmers have a greater demand for inputs, including equipment, fertilizers, and pesticides. Such market conditions in Ghana are expected to lead to a higher level of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), which in turn is expected to lead to a further increase in profitability in 2023 and beyond.
Ghana and the trade deal with the Ashanti Kingdom Investment Trust also represents a considerable opportunity for Tingo Mobile’s planned export business, not least because Ghana, as the gateway to Africa, is the location of several of Africa’s busiest seaports. Ghana has already established a thriving agricultural export market, as the second largest cocoa producer in the world, and as a major producer of other non-staple crops such as palm oil, cocoa paste, shea butter, coconuts, and cashew nuts. Moreover, the Kingdom of Ashanti accounts for a large
portion of the production of such crops and has committed to work closely with Tingo Mobile to further develop and grow Ghana’s agricultural export trade.
Dozy Mmobuosi, Tingo Founder and Chief Executive Officer noted that the merger of the company with MICT earlier this year was on the backdrop of the ability to accelerate the globalization and dollarization of our business. “As we move towards completion of the merger later this month, today’s launch into Ghana is tangible evidence of the strategy’s execution between MICT and Tingo and represents an important milestone in our international expansion,” he said.
Earlier this year, Tingo had partnered with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), adding over 20 million farmers under the group to its platform.
Dr Farouk Rabi’u-Mudi , President,All Farmers Association of Nigeria had lauded Tingo”s gestures and collaborations, saying that farmers in Nigeria had attained a greater feat which will take them to a new level of transitional development in every ramification .
In November, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar alongside with other stakeholders unveiled a Smartphone, POS machine and visa cards developed by Tingo to upscale smart Agriculture and empower farmers in the country.
Mmobuosi noted that the Tingo Mobile model would be rolled out throughout Africa, and into other parts of the world, where the company strives to foster digital and financial inclusion, increase food production efficiency, and improve food security.
“Through our rapid growth in Nigeria, we have already demonstrated the effectiveness of our business model, including helping farmers increase crop yields, reducing post-harvest losses, and achieving better prices for their crops, and we look forward to bringing the same benefits to the farmers of Ghana.
“With its government’s policy to markedly increase agricultural production, Ghana was a natural decision for our expansion, and I have every confidence that the Ghanaian market has all the attributes required to enable us to replicate Tingo Mobile’s success and achievements in Nigeria.
“To support us in our roll-out across Ghana, we are both delighted and privileged to be working with the Kingdom of Ashanti through the trade deal we have signed. We look forward to enjoying mutual success with our esteemed partner and towards working with them to bring the benefits we know can be delivered to the considerable number of members they enroll with us.”
President of Tingo, Chris Cleverly, had earlier noted that Tingo’s programs across these countries would provide inputs to farmers, especially Fertilizer, tractors, chemicals, seeds, sprinklers, loans and smart phones devices.
Rural and small holder farmers across Africa deserve to be added to the map, Cleverly had noted, stating further that such a move would address growing challenges of food insecurity, adding that there is a need to support rural farmers with initiatives that would boost their output.
According to him, the development will also address unemployment and enable small scale farmers to contribute meaningful to economic growth.
“At Tingo, we are passionate about solutions that will end food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition, poverty, unemployment, rural under development, foreign exchange challenges amongst others.
“What you are seeing today is part of the commitment we had made to adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development,” Chief Executive Officer of Tingo Mobile, Auwalu Tahir said.
Tahir said the inadequacy of tractor, funding, fertilizer and market connectivity have further worsened the threat to food security in Nigeria, stressing that the MoA would address the issues.
Tingo is the leading Agri-Fintech company operating in Africa, with a marketplace platform that empowers social upliftment through mobile, technology and financial access for rural farming communities. Tingo’s novel “device as a service” model allows it to add market leading applications to enable customers to trade, buy top ups, pay bills, access insurance and lending services. With over 10 million existing customers, Tingo is seeking to expand its operations across select markets in Africa. Tingo’s strategic plan is to become the eminent Pan-African
Agri-Fintech business delivering social upliftment and financial inclusion to millions of SME farmers and women-led businesses.
Tingo, including its subsidiary Tingo Mobile, offers its comprehensive platform service through use of smartphones – ‘device as a service’ (using GSM technology) — to empower a marketplace to enable subscribers/farmers within and outside of the agricultural sector to manage their commercial activities of growing and selling their production to market participants both domestically and internationally.
The ecosystem provides a ‘one stop shop’ solution to enable such subscribers to manage everything from airtime top ups, bill pay services for utilities and other service providers, access to insurance services and micro finance to support their value chain from ‘seed to sale’.
As of June 30, 2022, Tingo had approximately 9.3 million subscribers using its mobile phones and Nwassa platform. Nwassa is Africa’s leading digital agriculture ecosystem that empowers rural farmers and agri-businesses by using proprietary technology to enable access to markets in which they operate. Farm produce can be shipped from farms across Africa to any part of the world, in both retail and wholesale quantities. Nwassa’s payment gateway also has an escrow structure that creates trust between buyers and sellers. Tingo’s system provides real-time pricing, straight from the farms, eliminating middlemen. Tingo’s users pay for produce bought
using available pricing on its platform.
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