Father, stepmother kill 10-year-old son over witchcraft in Akwa Ibom

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

A non Governmental organisation, and digital technology developer for Agriculture and food sector, El-Kanis and partners has unveiled a mobile marketplace platform, El-kanis Vernacular Interactive Voice Response, EIVR, for rural farmers in Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking during the official launch of the platform in Uyo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, of El-Kanis and partners, Mr. Ekan Ukpe, said the EIVR was developed for dessimination of information on essential services for farmers the rural areas.

Ukpe noted that the statistics reports of 2016 and 2019 indicates that over 50million smallholder farmers who are basically in the rural areas lack access to improved Agricultural services and markets, including loans facilities.

He said, “The purpose of this stakeholders interaction is to create awareness about this new platform we are unveiling to the general public and how it works. El-kanis Vernacular Interactive Voice Response (EIVR) is a mobile marketplace platform for food and Agriculture supply Chain development.

“Our target market consists of farmers, input suppliers, Agro service providers, financial service providers and supply chain actors who are passionate to grow and succeed in their Agriculture and food business, but don’t have platform to connect with rural farmers and value chain network.

“What this platform do is to support rural farmers with Agro-services, connect Agro-producers to processors, and enable market access to farmers with the local dialect. If we don’t strengthen those that are actually helping us to produce food, there is the possibility of the country facing serious food crisis.

Ukpe, listed EIVR advantages to include flexible access to required services for rural farmers, increase of agribusiness and rural farmers productivity accelerating adoption with a flexible request tool that matches requestor to service provider.

He added EIVR has the potentials to de-risk rural Agricultural value chains, tackle food pre and post harvest losses in the rural areas, enhance healthy food security and also build Africa’s next Agripreneur generation among others.

He expressed worries over a 2016 report which revealed that Nigeria imports food worth $10billion annually, stressing , “Import dependency is hurting Nigerian farmers, displacing rural food production and creating rising unemployment”

In his brief remarks the Executive director of the organization, Mr. Moses Akpan, explained that they are moving into E-Agriculture as a strategy that would encourage youths particularly in Akwa Ibom to develop the passion for Agriculture.

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