El-Kanis launches e-platform to disseminate information to farmers in A/Ibom
El-Kanis, an agro-tech firm has launched an electronic platform to disseminate information to farmers to boost food production in Akwa Ibom State.
The firm, El-Kanis and partners unveiled the platform known as El-kanis Vernacular Interactive Voice Response, EIVR at a ceremony in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital which was attended by farmers, tech companies and youths.
Ekan Ukpe, managing director of the firm said the EIVR was developed to help “farmers in the rural areas have access to market, and other essential services,” adding that from available data, over “50 million smallholder farmers who are basically in the rural areas lack access to improved agricultural services and have no access to markets.
Ukpe also added that few farmers in rural areas have access to loan facilities.
According to him, with the launch of the platform, it will be possible to gain innovative ideas and skills to boost food production.
“The purpose of this stakeholders interaction is to create awareness about this new platform we are unveiling to the general public and how it works. El-kanis Vernacular Interactive Voice Response (EIVR) is a mobile marketplace platform for food and Agriculture supply Chain development.
“Our target market consists of farmers, input suppliers, Agro service providers, financial service providers and supply chain actors who are passionate to grow and succeed in their Agriculture and food business but don’t have a platform to connect with rural farmers and value chain networks.
“What this platform does is to support rural farmers with Agro-services, connect Agro-producers to processors, and enable market access to farmers with the local dialect.
“With 200 million people who are currently facing looming food crisis if you don’t strengthen those that are actually helping us to produce the food, there is possibility of the country moving into food crisis”
Ukpe who is a member Institute of Agribusiness Management, listed EIVR advantages to include flexible access to required services for rural farmers, increase of agribusiness and rural farmers productivity accelerating adoption with a flexible request tool that matches requestor to service provider.
He added that EIVR has the potential to de-risk rural Agricultural value chains, tackle food pre and post-harvest losses in the rural areas, enhance healthy food security and also build Africa’s next agriculture entrepreneurs among others.
He expressed worries over reports which revealed that Nigeria imports food worth $10billion annually, stressing, “Import dependency is hurting Nigerian farmers, displacing rural food production and creating rising unemployment.”
In a demonstration, he said drone technology can be deployed to show crop yield, soil composition and reasons for crop failure to farmers.
In his brief remarks Moses Akpan, executive director of the organization, explained why the company was diversifying into e-agriculture as a strategy that would encourage youths, particularly in Akwa Ibom to develop an interest in agriculture.
During an interaction, participants lauded the vision behind the launch of the platform saying it would significantly boost food production and ensure food sufficiency.