January 31st, 2020

Market Access for Farmers

Several farmers find it difficult to sell their produce, leading to post harvest losses and wastage. According to Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Africa loses food valued at $4 Billion dollars annually to post harvest losses. Narrowing down to Nigeria, she loses 40% of all agricultural produce to wastage and post-harvest losses. All these are as a result of an absence of market access and lowered visibility of farms. Manufacturers on the other hand find it difficult to access raw materials, sometimes having to suffer factory downtime as a result of shortage of the right specification of raw materials.

Farmers grow crops that are not needed by processors, creating a situation where there is glut in the market of produce that are not to the specifications processors need, resulting in them having to suffer the ignominy of produce raw materials downtime. A processor would require Vitamin A fortified maize but the farmers grow varieties they are used to.

Information on new and improved cultivars, seedlings, or varieties and the where or how to reach them hardly trickles down to the farmers that need them. For example, the cassava crop suffers from post-harvest physiological degradation (PPD); once harvested from the ground, in two days or less, depending on the variety grown, it would no longer be suitable for consumption. However, there are cassava varieties like the TME 419 that has more PPD tolerance that are in existence; but sadly, not every farmer knows about it or has access to it.

This is as a result of challenges in disseminating information and new research to farmers. With the Kitovu mobile platform, farmers would know what crops processors want to the right specifications, the best inputs to use and where to source them, agricultural best practices; at the same time, they are guaranteed visibility to processors and produce buyers.

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