Few days ago, I received an invitation to attend a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) event. When I got to the event, I was asked to check a list. Under profession, I crossed what they had there for me, and wrote “Farmer”.
A lady said “We did not have you here as a farmer?” I responded “I understand, but I am a farmer.” In our farming business, we have done everything to avoid the temptation of thinking that technology is more important than the agriculture we are working to improve. (There are many opportunities in the broad agricultural sector; I have presented 30 farming business ideas below. If you are a subscriber, the text version is here. In the subscription area, we have some mechanisms on the executions).
Yes, if our technology becomes the goal, instead of the improved farming productivity, we have failed in our missions. For us to serve farmers, technology must disappear, and agriculture must rise. Even though our technology must not just run agriculture but transform it, my goal is that having the spirit of a “farmer” will ensure we do not become unfocused, building technology solutions without any relevance to agricultural frictions.
Amid the resounding growth, African agriculture faces many challenges. The absence of standardized product grades, proof of ownership for commodities, and proper storage facilities limits agricultural potential. Access to markets and finance also pose significant barriers. We see these challenges as tremendous opportunities and intend to invest in Africa’s smallholder farmers over the long term to overcome them together
For all we do, these three stats remind us that provided we stay as Farmers, the vision will live on.
Broadly, in your business, is technology becoming the business or are you making sure it is kept in its position which is to run, improve and accelerate strategic corporate objectives?