As I work in agriculture, I have learnt one thing: Nigeria’s agricultural paralysis is not solely due to low productivity but making sure our little production capacity is optimized from farm to table. We waste a lot of food in this nation. Yes, a nation where excess of 87 million are classified as being extremely poor is still wasting farm produce. You can argue that the waste is really the reason why we have that level of poverty in the land.
At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million
Today, a commissioner narrated how few years ago, Bauchi farmers were forced to sell baskets of tomatoes for N300 (~$0.89) per basket because no one could buy them. And when the government brought in consultants to help, they told them that the most strategic roadmap was to allow the tomatoes to waste as the cost of harvesting and transporting them will exceed any value derivable.
Yet, the next year, do you know what happened? Government doubled down on more incentives on growing tomatoes. Interestingly, no one got the memo that even the little produced last year was largely wasted. We think that has to change.
Next year, under the pioneering engineering of Kobo360, a category-king logistics company in Nigeria, together with Zenvus (my agtech company via the zCapital services), a pilot will be launched in a northern Nigeria state. We are exploring how to ensure that no single produce would be wasted, post-harvest.
Kobo operates under the principle of Aggregation Construct which depends on network orchestration where it works as an arbiter for many partners and customers. With this model, the customer experience becomes a key part of its business. It does not have ships, planes and trucks delivering services from U.S. to Nigeria and beyond. But it has a technology to simplify trade and commerce. It has got happy customers who do think its services are even better than firms like DHL.
If you have access to a governor or commissioner in your state, please reach out. We can put you in this pilot. Our vision is to micro-aggregate all produce from farms to cities and factories, and deliver generation-shaping productivity boost anchored mainly by reducing wastes. It goes beyond building expensive warehouses and cold rooms to deploying the best logistics operating system in Africa to move things out as quickly as possible. Kobo engineering is supremely solid in fixing logistics friction and is on call to help farmers.