Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Agrorite, a premier digital agricultural platform based in Lagos, Toyosi Ayodele says he is determined to achieve food security in Africa beginning from Nigeria by engaging and improving the quality of lives of at least 1 million small holder farmers by the year 2020.
Toyosi noted that Agrorite as an Agribusiness platform has been positioned to become a major player in the projected US$1 Trillion 2030 Agribusiness sector, grow beyond Nigeria and traditional farming methods as well as a major Stake holder in the Agricultural sector in Africa at large.
According to a statement signed by him and which was dedicated to mark this year’s World Food Day, Toyosi explained that food security in Africa can be achieved if the issues of poverty, hunger, inequality and responsible consumption are addressed.
His words: ‘’Agrorite is a premier digital agricultural platform working to tackle food insecurity by creating share value for smallholder farmers and investors/businesses.
The Agrorite platform creates social impact on these small holder farmers who have been identified as constituting a major part of the overall numbers of farmers in agricultural production. Agrorite promotes participation in agriculture by enabling sponsors to earn and learn through crowdfunding.’’
He continued: ‘’Agrorite is charged with the mandate of reaching out to a million small Holder farmers by the end of 2020 and this will see the company implementing all the measures spelt out to ensure an overall increased per capita income for these farmers. A drastic reduction in Hunger, starvation and poverty will ultimately lead to food security.
‘’Food security in Africa will be curbed if poverty is reduced and if food is made available and accessible to all. In no small way, ensuring a better life for small holder farmers will ensure food security. The objective to zero hunger by Agrorite and to end poverty through the above listed objectives which are already being practiced will go a very long way to ensure food security and better the lives of small holder farmers.’’
On the causes of Food insecurity in Africa, he said that it is generally as a result of poverty. “The inability of people to access nutritious food in sufficient amount due to lack of money or poverty. This reality is more bothersome as a higher percentage of the population who cannot access sufficient food are rural dwellers who are generally small holder farmers.
‘’The same small holder farmers who are also key players in the scheme of agricultural things still constitute a large portion of the demography of persons affected by food insecurity in Africa.’’
Explaining how his innovative platform intends to provide solutions, he said, ‘’Agrorite is already actively engaged in mitigating produce loss by ensuring access to ready market or off-takers by the Farmers and equipping them with the necessary information they need to further mitigate pre harvest production loss and postharvest loss.
‘’The creation of foodies.ng which is a subsidiary company of Agrorite is another platform charged with further off taking the agricultural produce of these small holder farmers to curb any form of loss of agricultural produce.’’
He further noted that his organization planned to reach out to Small holder farmers, vet and engage them through local integration and enlightenment with a view to providing invaluable information and data driven insights to farmers; Increased and improved crop yield that meets nutritional and quality standards which will be guided by Agrorite’s renowned Experts and Partners in these areas and Financial inclusion of small holder farmers vis a vis assistance with accessibility of credits, insurance, pensions etc.
In addition, provides access to fair and competitive market after harvest thereby linking up farmers with off taking markets that will take off the burden of selling their farm produce from the farmers and will lead to increase per income capita per farmer and many more initiatives.
‘’ In line with this undertaking on our part, Foodies.ng which is a subsidiary company of Agrorite dealing directly with customers, will ensure to take up as much of these harvested crops as is possible to ensure rise in per capita income accruing to benefiting farmers.’’ Toyosi said.
Toyosi in his submission admitted that Agribusinesses have the ability to improve the quality of life for Africans by creating better jobs and facilitating improved nutrition and quality food consumption.
He said that Agribusinesses such as Agrorite are a catalyst for ending poverty especially as the reach is small holder farmers who in their numbers constitute a large part of the African population and will be more socially impacted by this dynamics.
‘’Asides the small holder farmers, Agribusinesses can also promote industrialisation and thereby increase urban employment such that many people both directly in the agricultural value chain and persons even outside the chain can be beneficiaries of employment arising from the activities of Agribusinesses.
‘’The nexus between creation of jobs and food security cannot be over emphasised. The capacity and availability of purchasing power of sufficient quality food by all persons is essentially food security. To this extent, the increase in gainful employment ultimately translates to a higher food security index in Africa.’’ He explained.