The global population is forecasted to grow by 2 billion by 2050 and with more than half of that development originating from Sub-Saharan Africa, resolving food insecurity has ended up being a matter of seriousness.
In Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, food insecurity is on the rise; nearly 8 percent of the population was found to be undernourished in 2015, compared with 6 percent in 2007, according to the World Bank’s advancement indications
This presents both a difficulty and an opportunity for smallholder farmers, and those looking for to buy them, with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasting that the agricultural market in Sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $200 billion in 2015 to $1 trillion by 2030.
” If we continue with the hoes and cutlasses, we will have to depend upon other nations to feed [us] successfully,” said Samson Ogbole from PS neutraceuticals.
In Nigeria, agriculture was once thought about an occupation for the bad and uneducated. But perceptions of farming are changing as more people endeavor into it as a livelihood; around two-thirds of the labour force is now engaged in the sector, contributing to 37 percent of GDP.
And progressively, farmers practicing subsistence agriculture are using new technologies to increase productivity and marketability. These variety from utilizing social media to get in touch with others in the sector, to partnering with companies that supply drone innovation and remote sensing.
Nigeria’s population of around 200 million translates to high need for farm produce, and entrepreneurs, corporations, and governments are working together to attain the Sustainable Development Objective 2 to “end hunger, achieve food security and enhanced nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”.
One such company is PS Nutraceuticals. It uses aeroponics farming, a technique that involves suspending the roots of crops in air and applying mists. The method, which occurs in a controllable environment, has numerous benefits such as requiring very little water, electrical power, and labor. Crops are likewise fast to harvest and there are restricted bugs.
Established in 2016 by Samson Ogbole and O.P. Okocha, the company hopes that by setting up farms which utilize this technology, it can help make sure food security in Nigeria. “Soilless farming is one of such innovations which can help ensure food supply,” states Ogbole. “It isn’t a way to change soil but rather to complement soil”.
The method has actually been evaluated on more than 200 crops, including tomatoes, ginger, onions, rice and even flowers. Food can be produced at any time of year and the spacing system makes it possible for higher productivity. “Food production should not be seasonal due to the fact that hunger is not seasonal,” Ogbole includes.
Along with being eco-friendly, the method attracts investment from banks and individuals, Ogbole states, although he confesses the sector has actually traditionally struggled to find funding. “The absence of innovation [in traditional practices] suggests farming isn’t completely foreseeable, indicating it can’t be quickly guaranteed and therefore makes it unappealing to financiers,” he states.
Government is also tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit. PS Nutraceuticals is in collaboration with Lagos State in a scheme to grow rice and tomatoes to feed the growing population. The business is utilizing aeroponics and vine-cutting technology in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Farming on YIIFSWA-II, a task that looks for to offer budget friendly, top quality seed yam tubers for smallholder farmers in Nigeria and Ghana. It has actually recruited 40 regional farmers in Oyo and Ogun mentions to deal with the task.
Cutting the waste
Other business are concentrating on decreasing waste and increasing access to markets. Farmforte is a Lagos-based firm that buys up smallholder farmers’ produce, such as cashew and sweet potato, and exports them, alongside running its own sweet potato farm in Edo state. “This fixes the challenges of storage, logistics and market gain access to for smallholder farmers,” states Lola Femi, Farmforte’s content strategist.
Farmforte procedures perishable products and offers transport for farmers. Technologies such as modern irrigation ensure farming all year, humidifiers avoid produce from diing, and temperature-controlled shipping containers deal with the typical problem of food wastage.
The usage of these new technologies, from aeroponics to modern-day transport systems, are acquiring traction in Nigeria. There is a community of individuals passionate about these techniques of agriculture and passionate about releasing them in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.
” They look sexy,” states Ogbole, discussing why young people discover them appealing.
Food security, however, will not be attained simply by increasing food production; customers need to be able to afford it. And even though lots of farmers are realising that much more can be attained in agriculture through these type of innovations, the majority of them do not have access to them.
” If we continue with the hoes and cutlasses, we will need to depend upon other nations to feed [us] effectively. There is a requirement to get technology– not just makers, but rather automated systems which the smallholder farmers can also utilize without breaking the bank,” states Ogbole.