BusinessDay

Afrimash leverages IT in enhancing agricultural input delivery across Nigeria

Using the agritech company’s online platform, farmers get quick and convenient access to a variety of inputs, place their orders online, and receive their farm inputs delivered to their locations across Nigeria. The company has been in this business for four years.

Afrimash is leveraging information technology (IT) tools such as web portals, electronic payments, and reliable logistics to ensure farmers get the best agricultural inputs and improved harvest.

Afrimash Company Limited is an Ibadan-based indigenous eCommerce firm, Oyo State. The improved agricultural inputs that farmers would get include equipment, livestock, seedlings, fertilizers, and vaccines that will enable an increase in food production while making agribusiness profitable.

Afrimash says it understands the challenges that farmers face in sourcing for quality farm inputs and has been committed to bridging these gaps through robust IT solutions.

“Afrimash is an agritech company. We run an eCommerce platform that is designed for farmers to access quality inputs from verified farm input suppliers,” Ahmed Ayoade Oyedotun, CEO/ Co-Founder, Afrimash Company Limited said.

Using the agritech company’s online platform, farmers get quick and convenient access to a variety of inputs, place their orders online, and receive their farm inputs delivered to their locations across Nigeria. The company has been in this business for four years.

According to Oyedotun, Afrimash runs a system that ensures farmers can shop online with peace of mind. He maintains that the company provides premium value to customers via the contribution of a talented workforce who enjoys providing quality service to customers.

The company started in 2016 and for about four years now has been offering eCommerce services (that are agriculture-oriented) via a platform where farmers can get tools, inputs, and other agricultural inputs.
“One thing that eCommerce does is that it makes it easy for suppliers and buyers to meet but in agriculture, it is a different ball game when we are talking about live products like day-old chicks, juveniles, rabbits, and so on,” said Oyedotun.

Quality inputs are one of the biggest challenges that farmers face in Nigeria and across Africa. However, the agro e-commerce company wants to bridge the gap using internet technology. “Today, quite a number of farmers have internet access and we leverage on the ever-increasing internet penetration rate in Nigeria,” he said.

This guarantees Afrimash a consistent increase in the number of people that can access the eCommerce site. Aside from internet penetration, the GSM penetration rate in Nigeria is high and constantly growing.

Farmers who do not have internet access will have feature phones to make phone calls. Hence, Afrimash developed a hybrid system that makes it easy for farmers to buy even without the internet through its dedicated shopping assistants through phone calls.

Eshett Goodness Mfonobong, the senior lead communication executive of Afrimash Company Limited, while evaluating patronage rates and market acceptability said both the market and farmers have come to accept Afrimash for the quality and convenience it offers.

“When we started over the years, a lot of pessimists said that farmers are not online, but trust me, we have come to realise that this is wrong with high repeat customers and many of our customers come through referral,” Mfonobong said.

With about 20, 000 farmers as clients and customers, Mfonobong said the company encourages government and financial institutions to partner with farmers to increase food production and security.

The communications executive said the company is open to partnership with government organisations, states, training institutions, financiers, and development organisations to make agribusiness convenient as food demand rises.

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