There is hunger and food insecurity in Africa, and Africa cannot feed itself. Africa has over 60% of the worlds arable land and yet imports over $35 Billion worth of food yearly. With a population of 1.2 Billion people, it is paramount that she first be able to feed herself in order to realize her potentials.
The average age of farmers is about 60 years—in a continent where 60% of the population is under 24 years of age.
Most Farmers in Africa have little education, with younger and more educated Africans leaving rural areas, where most farms are located, and moving to cities. These young potential farmers are discouraged from vying into agriculture by a varying number of factors such as:
1. Difficulties in accessing funds or land,
2. Over Reliance on manual technology in smallholder agriculture,
3. Low and volatile profits.
To remedy the following problems and encourage youth involvement in agriculture;
1. Governments should change their outlook on agriculture from a subsistence, daily activity into a commercial enterprise.
2. Businesses should focus on the entire value chain of the process—land tenure, production and farming technology, processing and packaging, markets and pricing—would help transform food systems around the continent.
3. Farming should be positioned “as a business and entrepreneurial endeavor”, this would also help draw younger people into farming, and make them see it as less of a “cool” idea and more as a “career option.”
4. Technology and mobile phones should also be increasingly adopted as a way to not only to reach farmers, but also as a mechanism for data collection and analysis on soil conditions, fertilizer application, and climate change.
5. Mechanization should also be expanded in order to ease the back-breaking manual labor and increase yields. Easy accessibility to mechanized tools for farmers would go a long way in improving their productivity
We built Probityfarms to help farmers operate like a business, by eliminating the guess work. Our technology gives farmers the intelligence to accurately predict and manage farm outcomes throughout the crop life cycle.
The crop planting intelligence has enabled farmers to expand the portfolio of crops they plant while our weather forecast helps farmers decide best time to apply fertilizers or plant their crops, thereby saving them from farm losses.
Also, Probityfarms has enabled us to promote farm education in Africa. By farmers access to best farming practices and providing them technology to improve crop yields, prevent post-harvest losses, connect them with off-takers and manage their business.
These initiatives will reach more than 1 million farmers by year 2019 helping to lift them out of poverty and improve their businesses significantly. As a result, we have the advantage to be positioned as market leader to price-sensitive small-holder farmers because a number of alternative farm management solutions are expensive.
Our target market are small-holder farmers in the 1 hectare to 20 hectares range; a market size of 10 million farmers in Nigeria that is currently underserved by existing solutions.
We are driven by the need to increase youth participation and access to capital for farmers especially as agriculture is the biggest employer of labour in Nigeria and contributes more than 24% to national GDP. With probityfarms, we are solving the dual problem of youth unemployment and food import deficits through agriculture.
Because Probityfarms is at the intersection of farm management and productivity, we are positioned to innovate across the entire Agric value chain by developing products within the verticals. Revenue opportunities include
(1) advisory services (profit sharing with experts agronomists)
(2) referral fees from partner products that we recommend to farmers like fertilizer, seedlings, herbicides etc and
(3) facilitate post harvest distribution of agro produce and
(4) data intelligence we can monetize for insurance, banking and other businesses serving farmers.
With these, we will 10X revenue within the first 3 years of operations to ARR of $5 million. As we continue to serve the Agric value in Nigeria, we will pursue a pan-African strategy with the goal of doubling revenue numbers year-on-year to reach $20 million in year 5.