Probity Farms, an AgriTech startup, is the latest company to capture our attention in the Nigerian AgriTech industry.
Probity Farms specializes in providing agricultural extension services to farmers. And in case, you didn’t know, agricultural extension is defined as the application of scientific research and knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. Put differently, it is the delivery of information inputs to farmers.
I am a FREE farm mgt & accounting application for small holder farmers. Pls retweet for farmers to discover me. 😁😁 pic.twitter.com/9VkJNhjmL7
— Probityfarms (@probityfarms) December 29, 2017
Agricultural extension is important for the modernization of farming practices in Nigeria. Due to the inefficacy of government policies, most Nigerian farmers are out of touch with global best practices and trends. From harvesting, to storage and all the way to marketing, Nigerian farmers still struggle, thanks to a huge dearth of knowledge.
About Probity Farms
Launched in June 2017 by Sola Ogunniyi, Ope Adelaja and Wole Ogunlade, Probity Farms is out to provide farmers the information they need to succeed. The startup is also an advisory solution for small farmholders, helping them with farm management and accounting decisions.
According to Ogunniyi, there are two sides to running successful farming; the business side and the technical side. However, many farmers today lack the professional and business skills needed to manage these two farm operations successfully.
Africa has the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (202 million hectares) yet most farms occupy less than 2 hectares. This results from poor land governance and ownership. – pic.twitter.com/cZ2KsV68cB
— Farmers' Corner (@farmerscornerng) May 25, 2018
The startup aims to boost farming outputs through the availability of critical agro information. Although the startup is quite young, a pilot scheme for 70 farmers has been concluded.
Leveraging on IT, Probity Farms uses a cloud-based technology to dispatch information. Farmers are required to sign up to the platform online to begin receiving critical information they need.
The technology helps farmers maintain records and data, get real-time insights into livestock and crop activities, manage sales, expenses and cash flow to ensure the health of the farm finances. These information and the data generated from them will be reliable when farmers seek to work with banks or insurers.
Farmers’ Poor Tech Knowledge Could be a Challenge
Yes, we are still on the matter! Farmcrowdy has been nominated as 'Digital Business of the Year', but we need your votes to win. Please click the link to vote for us, and share with your network. Thank you!https://t.co/2a4ssPqnMz#Farmcrowdy #EmpoweringFarmers #Agriculture pic.twitter.com/5xFrkQES3x
— Farmcrowdy (@farmcrowdy) June 12, 2018
Sadly too, farmers are not the most literate people and as Google warns, startups that leverage online-oriented solutions will be affected by this.
To address this, Probity Farms is looking to develop a USSD solution as an alternative. The USSD technology, just like you have with the banks these days, is a great way to onboard farmers who are not technology savvy and are without smartphones.
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