The importance of smallholder farmers in the society cannot be over stressed. Smallholder farmers put in so much work in order for us to eat quality and nutritious food but at the end of the day have little or nothing to show. Smallholder farmers account for over 70% of the food produced in Africa which emphasizes their relevance in fighting food insecurity in Africa.
Though farmers have much importance, yet they represent the poorest segment of the population; their source of livelihood is from what they produce. More so, they are faced with difficulties, their household welfare is in terrible conditions, they lack access to good medical care and in most situations they can’t afford to send their kids to school. Selling their produce to the right market at a competitive price is also a challenge as they often do not get enough pay. They sell to middlemen who buy at ridiculous prices and get most of the money. They also lack knowledge of modern farming techniques, skills, technologies, and financial services to produce a marketable surplus or to supply the quality, quantity, and types of commodity demanded by buyers amongst other things; They also experienced about 30-40% of post-harvest loss due to lack of access to premium market. This is the story of most smallholder farmers across Nigeria and Mr Ule was no different.
Like many others, Mr Ule is a smallholder farmer in Benue state who worked tirelessly but had nothing to show for it. His family lived in extreme poverty and could barely afford a square meal. Luck smiled on him when he met a young Youth Corp member in 2013 who offered input in connecting him with the right buyer. Mr Ule reluctantly obliged, and upon closing the first transaction, he began telling his colleagues about his experience with the Corp member and eventually the Corp member will provide the farmers, advice on farming and selling their farm produce.
Now the farmers’ lives are transformed, they make enough profit from their produce. They can afford good health care services; their children are happily attending schools and life is rosy for these remote small-holder farmers. There is a general improvement in their livelihood.
Seeing how successful and delightful the farmers were with the little input he was giving and producing at even higher capacity, the Corp member extended his input to other farmers in other remote areas and eventually, Agrorite was startup to provide advisory services, access to funding and premium markets to smallholder farmers. Currently, over six thousand smallholder farmers across Nigeria are benefiting from this startup. Today, our value addition has earned us recognition from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, The UK Government, GIZ and UAE.