By Juliet Umeh

An indigenous agriculture eCommerce platform, Afrimash has introduced Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD technology and Agent Network system for farmers to have access to farm inputs at the click of a button.

This will enable farmers to conveniently and securely shop online for quality inputs and receive your order safely at any location.

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Afrimash Company Limited Mr. Ayoade Oyedotun, said the USSD code, 22822# and Agent Network System are unique in the Agri-tech ecosystem and are posed as solutions to the challenges farmers face in rural communities.

He explained that the code is basically focused on farm input purchase and delivery to farmers in any part of the country.

He said: “USSD technology will make it possible for farmers that do not have smartphones to access products and farming input.

“In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, we started the Agent Network, which tries to solve the critical problem of getting quality agricultural inputs for farmers.

“AFRIMASH has over 3,000 products on its platform and we are passionate about helping farmers gain easy access to them. What we did was to get agents in every community to serve these farmers and farming clusters, ask them what they need, help them place their orders on our platforms and get them delivered.

“In collaboration with USAID and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, we started this network in 16 states. Across each state, we have a minimum of a hundred agents. When you multiply it by these 16 states, we have over a 1600 agents across these states. This has positively impacted our finances and revenue. We have created jobs for over 1600 people and we have also been able to reach more than 123,000 farmers across the nation.”

Marketing Manager at Afrimash, Oreoluwa Familoni, added: “Our USSD code, 22822# can be accessed via any network. The USSD option grants access to lots of products in various categories. Features under the USSD option include order placements, shipping options, wallet, hot deals, and much more.

“By using this code, farmers can be notified of the nearest pickup locations for them to pick up their products. We will also be providing free shipping to 6 selected states- Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Rivers, Delta, and Edo states, in the month of October for day-old chicks and day old turkeys categories.”

The company’s Programme manager, Mr. Collins Okeke, also said: “We used reputable individuals in the community as our agents. We also collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture and worked with their Agric Extension officers. Using these methods has worked and has helped us scale.”

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