Thrive Agric, a technologically inclined agricultural enterprise is making moves to combat the projected food scarcity and insecurity challenges post COVID-19 with the use of technology and digitalization in line with global best practices and through its “One farmer at a time” approach,
Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on all sectors of the economy, economic experts project that the downturn on agriculture will result to a surge in food scarcity and insecurity, rising from wasted harvest, labor limitation, restrictive market access among others.
For a country like Nigeria that lacks the necessary measures and basic infrastructure to evade or handle occurrences like this, implementing financial interventions and benefits packages introduced by more developed economies in their agricultural sector will pose a problem.
Uka Eje, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thrive Agric said the startup is moving to provide a solution to sustainably match food production against a rising population and to foster a fast and effective demand and supply chain between the market and the local farmer.
“The goal of the business is to make Africa the food basket of the world by providing smallholder farmers with access to high-quality farm inputs, finance, data-driven advisory and premium markets for their produce.
By the end of 2020 the brand plans to leverage on Technology to connect over 250,000 farmers to finance, insight and distribution for their harvest, the brand infuses both digital technology (micro-loan platforms and datadriven advisory) and farming technologies (machinery, soil test, and precision extension farming systems) into agriculture.” Eje said.
He further said that Thrive Agric plans to channel credit facilities to its network of farmers along with its bank partners, providing for the farmers as input loans. In addition to the finance and insight, the organisation expects to significantly improve the local farmer’s yield by connecting them to existing premium markets which will double their income, adding that this would also help solve the impending challenge that would face food security during and post COVID-19.
Speaking on funding, he said the company has been a beneficiary of various investment platforms like Ycombinator, Jack Ma, Google, Berrywood and other angel investors, as a result, the company is able to develop a proprietary platform customized to the local needs of its target market. Eje added that Thrive Agric has been engaged by the World Bank and the World Food Program, charting the digital agricultural and economic conversation in Africa.