If ‘potentials’ were edible, Africa would have the best-fed people on earth. The continent has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, mostly uncultivated. Incidentally, land cultivation is typically by small farmers, produces sub-optimally and may worsen due to the novel COVID-19. The pandemic is hitting Africa increasingly and vulnerable African economies could be strangled by it. According to an African Union report, we may lose up to 20 million jobs and experience social unrests. Globally, businesses and markets are shutting down and key sectors of the African economy are already experiencing a slowdown. Sectors such as Transportation (especially air transport), Tourism, Oil & Gas, and Agriculture are visibly impacted. Worse still, additional impacts of COVID-19, which may not be manifest at this time, are expected in 2020.
Global Chronic Hunger
The FAO estimates that some 820 million people around the world experience chronic hunger, with 113 million of them relying on external assistance to survive. These people can ill-afford the additional disruptions that COVID-19 may inflict on their livelihoods. Among this vulnerable group are small-scale farmers, who might be hindered from working their farmland, caring for their livestock or accessing markets.
Farm labourers will be hard hit by job losses, as harvesting and processing activities dwindle. Heightened uncertainty, precautionary behaviour and containment efforts may negatively impact the Agric market. Millions of Africa’s children, with no formal access to social protection or health insurance, also fall within the vulnerable group. Most of these children, already missing out on the much-needed school meals, are now exposed to severe hunger and malnutrition.
Using Tech for Food Supply
Agrikore is utilizing technology to solve some of the above problems by connecting the food chain, from raw farm produce to processed food. We are gradually revolutionizing agriculture in Africa because we understand that people must eat, and food must be available for them to do so.
In Nigeria today, Agrikore is being utilized as the go-to Agri-Technology platform for food availability and security. I am happy to announce that we are winning the war against food scarcity in Nigeria. In 2019 alone, Cellulant provided over 600 million meals from 100,000 metric tons of food bought, transported and processed via Agrikore.
This amounted to feeding the entire nation for one day and the numbers will grow in the coming years. We are on a mission to feed Nigeria for 3 days in 2020, and for 7 days by 2025. These sum up to NGN2trillion worth of economic opportunity for Nigerians.
Agrikore, a dependable Agri-commercial blockchain platform, can house over 200 million farmers, in various African markets and drive food productivity, sustainability and economic value.
Feeding Nigeria Amidst a Lockdown
Even under the COVID-19 led lockdowns, we continue to support our communities by keeping the Agrikore Marketplace in full swing operations. In the face of obvious threats, our staff have been heroic in ensuring the value chain does not suffer dislocations. We believe these times call for a paradigm shift in Africa’s economic planning. Africa can and should turn the current COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to return to the ‘Green Oil’ of Africa– Agriculture. Certainly, the world must feed, and Africa’s arable landmass, large population and power of Agrikore can combine to fend for the world. This is how to create economic-financial inclusion and sustainable jobs for millions of our youth.
Let’s feed and transform Nigeria together, one youth at a time. Click here to Read/Download our new Agrikore Risk Review Publication
Bolaji Akinboro is, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Cellulant Group