Food affordability globally has become a rising concern as poverty and hunger enthralls millions.
This seems to be causing a more elusive ideology about the possible fastest end to starvation especially in developing nations. Although the nature and depth of food insecurity has generated multidimensional approaches to hunger and food sourcing, its availability is not tantamount to food affordability.
Across Africa, almost half of all spending of household budgets are based on food affordability, with the highest-burden falling on low-income households. In Nigeria, there has been a worrisome trend that reveals the country to be extremely poor, with a forecast position from the report of Gates Foundation (2019) as the likely poverty capital of the world by 2050.
Furthermore, a growth trend has been observed in pricing of crops produced in Nigeria from N14.86 billion in 2013, N7.18 billion in 2015 and N21.09 billion in 2017 as stated by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), revealing the expensive nature of home-grown foods within the country, and making affordability an illusion.
Established literature has earlier investigated the link between smart agri-preneurship, nutrient cycling, soil analysis and greenhouse farming, individually, on reduced cost of food in developed economies. However, a gap in knowledge exists on the nexus between smart agripreneurship dimensions (hydroponics, geo-mapping, greenhouse farming, drone agriculture, nutrient cycling and soil analysis) and food affordability in developing economies, especially from the Nigerian context.
In partnership with Farmboy.Ng, we investigated the effect of smart agripreneurship dimensions on food affordability in Nigeria and the results revealed that smart agri-preneurship dimensions provided positive and significant effect on food affordability.
However, an x-ray of the smart agripreneurship dimensions revealed that all dimensions except drone agriculture provided positive and significant relations with food affordability.
The outcome of Omodanisi’s study confirmed that technology doesn’t have to be expensive to improve food security and where expensive, economies of scale has to be present so that cost per unit is low and food affordable.
My advice is that smart agripreneurship is the focus of FarmBoy.Ng in promoting Africa food project towards the attainment of food security in Nigeria and training 500 smart agripreneurs in a space of 10 years in line with the values of united nations towards food security attainment.
He recommended that agribusinesses should engage more proactively as there are gargantuan blue oceans in the adoption of smart agripreneurship in an environment where staple meals are less processed and the population growth is driving demand for food products. He appreciated governments new efforts in agriculture and advised that agripreneurs, especially the rural dwellers may be far from reach and hence not benefiting from mechanisms put in place.
Dr. Ope Omodanisi is founder of Manywaters Group, a property development company, which grew into Agribusiness in 2009.