Code Cash Crop has held its third in the series of Agritech summit, which seeks to integrate an increasing number of technology providers offering services to smallholder farmers to solve specific problems in the food system in Africa with institutions leveraging finance to unlock investment opportunities in the sector.
This year, the event themed “Disrupting Agriculture Trade Infrastructure” brought together next-generation innovators, business professionals, entrepreneurs, agric specialists, investors, development partners, and policymakers in the three sectors to identify innovative and viable solutions to Africa’s Trade Infrastructure in a series of panel discussions, mentorship sessions, pitch storms, and network meetings.
Most importantly, the event gave young Nigerians from the fields of agriculture, technology, and finance an enabling environment to pitch unique business solutions that address Africa’s trade infrastructure while they stand the chance to win a total prize of N5 million among other career-boosting opportunities.
The finalists were charged to change the agricultural commodities landscape with AgFinTech solutions that would disrupt, and tackle challenges faced in the sector.
Delivering the keynote address on the topic, “Coding Solutions for Transforming Agriculture Trade Infrastructure”, Olatomiwa Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft (Nigeria &Ghana), stated that “Africa is poised to become the global entre in Agric-tech solutions in the not-too-distant future.”
According to her, we need to focus on accelerating growth in the agriculture sector. Innovating in areas where agriculture faces challenges will help farmers scale their businesses. Therefore, it’s essential to simplify technology for smallholder farmers.
Speaking at the panel discussion on “The Present and Future of Agriculture Commodity Trade in Africa” Zeal Akarikwe, CEO, of Graeme Blaque Group, expanded the conversation on the importance of financing stating that credit risks from farmers are the hardest to mitigate but when the risks are identified and resolved then access to finance is made more readily available for smallholder farmers.
In the same vein, Edubasi Chukunweike, Startup Lead, Mircosoft West Africa, on the topic “Financing the Emergence of Efficient Agriculture Marketplaces for Africa” said that “ When we can solve the problem of the marketplaces and how to increase farmers’ yield using data then we can boast about Africa feeding itself “.
Nevertheless, Sikemi Tayo, Founder, KIT for Professionals, emphasized that “It’s important to have conversations on how to use technology to standardize trade in the commodities marker.”
The winner, Prince Achoja, presented his solution called Ma’aji-Noma aimed at helping farmers in remote communities access financial services such as payments, savings, loans, etc., through a mobile app. The solution also gives the farmers access to agricultural information.
The Code Cash Crop drives home the urgent call that we need all hands on deck to have shared prosperity in the agriculture value chain. It is cogent to drive awareness of food security beyond finance, technology, and agriculture. It needs collaborations from other industries and sectors.
In the earlier two editions, the Code Cash Crop advocated for agritech solutions that boost the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the agribusiness sector. It significantly expanded conversations on payment solutions for rural agrarian communities, leading to some conceptualization of solutions that will enable more people in our rural communities to get financially included and this has further necessitated the need to rethink how to embrace technologies to improve Africa’s Trade Infrastructure.