BusinessDay

Growsel receives farm machinery, kiosk from Mitsubishi

Growsel Microfunds Inc, a non-profit organisation has received agricultural machinery and farm kiosk donations from Mitsubishi Corporation Nigeria Ltd to support smallholder farmers boost their productivity and improve their livelihoods.

Zowasel, an ag-tech startup and a subsidiary of Growsel will use its extensive network to execute the Proof of Concept (PoC) and confirm the feasibility of agricultural machinery rental services for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

The project aims to cut back on manual labour and ease farmers’ production by determining the acceptance of a motorized mini tractor, mini harvester, hand-held planter, and a hand-held tiller.

“The partnership aligns with Mitsubishi Corporation’s core philosophy and supports the common goal of solving social issues. It provides opportunities to empower rural dwellers across host and neighboring communities,” said Makoto Saito, managing director of Mitsubishi Corporation Nigeria in a statement made available to BusinessDay.

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“We are looking forward to a successful collaboration with the team from Growsel and Zowasel to help increase smallholder farmers’ productivity and improve their quality of life in Nigeria,” Saito said.

The project was launched at Kawo village, Doma LGA of Nasarawa State, and contributes to developing the rice, soybean, and sesame value chains across the north-central state of Nigeria.

Smallholder farmers from the host and neighbouring communities were present at the farm kiosk to be operated as the remote crop centre by Zowasel to witness the launch.

The collaboration and PoC provide smallholder farmers with accessible and affordable agricultural machinery through sustainable rental services right in their domain through the Zowasel remote Crop Centre infrastructure model.

The partnership would also enable Zowasel’s remote Crop Centres to provide support services such as Global Best Practices training and Free Agronomical support, access to improved farm inputs, mini and hand-held agricultural machinery, and direct market access for farmers to increase productivity and income.

To further support smallholder farmers in improving their socio-economic and financial livelihoods and sustainable farming practices, Zowasel offers free agronomy services and GAP training to provide a fair and reasonably secure living for farmers to build their path to prosperity.

“We’re excited to see the kickoff of our partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation Nigeria,” said Jerry OCHE president and CEO of Growsel.

“We’re already overwhelmed by the number of bookings for the agricultural machinery in the first week of launch, as smallholder farmers who typically go as far as 400 kilometers or more to seek machinery are now walking into our remote crop centre to book for mechanization,” he said.

Through its marketplace, Zowasel offers direct market access to premium buyers for smallholder farmers to sell and earn more for their crops. Vetted buyers on Zowasel Mmrketplace include Guinness Nigeria, FMN, Barry Callebaut, Olam, Grand Cereals, Promasidor, Tolaram, Sucden, amongst others.

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