In Nigeria, the problem of the agriculture sector is not arable land or a shortage of farmers, it is the spoilage of produce, whether as a result of a lack of or poor storage facilities, or few buyers. Then there’s the issue of low output as a result of low input as many farmers lack access to finance to scale.
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Uka Eje, the CEO/Co-founder of Thrive Agric, a platform that “crowdfunds resources for smallholder farmers and gives them access to the market.” It creates “an opportunity where the subscribers who these resources are crowdfunded from get to monitor the process of farming through regular updates of their farm and share in the profit after harvest.”
Uka and his friend Ayodeji Arikawe, fresh out of school “were faced with data of post-harvest losses farmers faced and we spent four years focused on building a supply chain for farmers in northern Nigeria, linking them to processing companies across the country,” he told Techmoran. Over 2,500 farmers benefited from the project
During this process, they discovered farmers had three major challenges: finance for their farms, access to better inputs, and low yield from their farms because of insufficient data to help improve their yield and access to premium markets.
On the other hand were urban dwelling Nigerians excited about agriculture but without the time and skill, making entry into the market too difficult. They decided to fix this by building a platform that connects both parties, and the result is Thrive Agric today.
Experts predict that in a decade, the surging demand for food may surpass our agricultural systems’ structural capacity and this can lead to starvation globally. Part of the process to stop this is what Thrive Agric is doing.
Today, more than 4,000 farmers across 12 states in Nigeria have benefited from Thrive Agric’s work.
Uka is a Biochemistry graduate from Covenant University and a MOOC focused in The Future of Farming from the University of Reading.
Thrive Agric raised funding from the Abuja-based Ventures Platform, and has been selected as a part of the Google Launchpad accelerator. The platform has also received support from Telefonica’s Wayra and is a product of Ycombinator’s startup school.
We celebrate Uka and his team for their contribution to ensuring food security in Nigeria.