Nine million rural farmers get mobile devices to boost agric outputs

One way Nwassa does this is through its microloan targetted at those within and outside the Nwassa platform.
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Nine million rural farmers get mobile devices to boost agric outputs

Communication devices for access to the agricultural market and financial inclusion have been issued to over nine million farmers in rural areas.

The intervention is to help increase the contribution of the agriculture sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, said Dozy Mmobuosi, Group Chief Executive of Tingo International Holdings Inc.

According to him, the branded mobile devices were sold by Nwassa, a platform dedicated to African farmers, to farmers with payments distributed over three years to reduce the financial burden on them.

“With the devices, we (Nwassa) provide up-to-date information to the farmers in real-time. Information that the platform passes across to the farmers includes weather forecasts and prices of farm input and produce”, he stated.

According to estimates, agriculture in Nigeria contributed 21.91 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) of the country in 2019, and the contribution of the sector to the GDP of the nation has increased by 19.99 per cent over the last decade.

Smallholder farmers representing more than 80 per cent of the agricultural population are at the forefront of the agrarian economy.

The strength of the Nwassa platform is to work with rural farmers, to connect other players in the value chain and to create a more convenient agribusiness ecosystem for all players in the sector, Mmobuosi said.

He said the platform will help boost Nigeria's agriculture and extend to other parts of the continent by improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and rural farmers on the continent.

“This is evident from Tingo International’s activities over the years, which include connecting farmers to off-takers and bringing them into the formal financial system with Tingo Pay, its in-house payment channel.

“Beyond this, more than nine million Tingo branded mobile devices have been sold to these farmers with payment spread over three years to reduce the financial strain on them.

Access to extension service providers is another main feature on the Nwassa platform, according to him, adding that the aim is to put under the same umbrella every player in the agricultural ecosystem.

“The firm is using Nwassa to empower every player in the agricultural value chain, using simple technology to enable easy access to the market as well as information.

“Access to timely extension services and off-takers that are readily available even before harvest are the reasons farmers on the Nwassa platform have recorded a sharp reduction in their post-harvest losses.

“Nwassa is the ultimate answer for farmers all over the world, as every farmer’s need in every location can be addressed without undue challenges”.

Mmobuosi said the platform will continue to work towards improving the livelihood of rural and smallholder farmers with more African farmers and players in the agricultural value chain.

“One way Nwassa does this is through its microloan targetted at those within and outside the Nwassa platform. The microloan is designed to ensure that cheap credit is available to people while also bringing them into the financial fold.

Mmobuosi said that Nwassa has the potential to be a one-stop-shop in Nigeria for agriculture.