Business of soil replenishment through farmer accessibility and affordability (FAA) approach
As a young graduate of Agricultural Economics and Extension from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, I have always had interest in agriculture and agribusinesses. My focus areas include farming, marketing, communication and youth engagement.
My name is John Agboola and I am a value chain catalyst and extension agent with knowledge of trends in ways the technology and communication interface with agriculture. My childhood, experience and location, gave me the opportunity to observe farmers struggle to acquire both self-purchased and the widely advertised government subsidized fertilizers.
Over the years, things have not changed. Possible solutions that farmers have employed include the purchase of fertilizers from the open market. However, this has not been effective though it looks convenient as the exposure of the fertilizer to elements of weather makes it lose its potency. This ends up discouraging farmers and the desired outcome – increased productivity/yield is never attained. The farmers lose interest as a belief system that introduction of new technologies are a means to reap them off.
It has also been observed that companies involved in production, sales and distribution of fertilizers have not considered the purchasing power and accessibility of farmers to their products. Factoring the utmost desires of the companies – making profit and that of the farmers – increased yield translated to more money (profit), I believe packaging of fertilizers into smaller sachets and bags so much that any farmer can access any size he/she has the ability to purchase or use. This is termed as the Farmer Accessibility and Affordability (FAA) approach.
This project will focus on boosting the socio-economic livelihood of farmers through the creation of affordability and accessibility of smaller sizes fertilizer. A farmer once said that “To us in the rural area, we only hear of government giving us fertilizer but nothing comes forth but we could only afford small quantity from open market”. This buttresses the need to target rural farmers and young farmers using the FAA approach to benefit the larger percentage of poor people in the rural area, who are arguably farmers.
Presently, Nigeria has close to 160 million farmers and 80% of them are smallholder farmers with less than 20% having access to fertilizer. Averagely, a smallholder farmer operates on 0 – 2ha of land with less profit at the end of the planting season. This means that they will be needing smaller bags of fertilizers than the big bags that are being used. It is expected that the fortune embedded in this project will shoot up their production and income level by 5% and training will contribute efficiently.
This project will target about 1000 male and female farmer, create a sense of belonging as they reap the benefits. This will guarantee the sustainability of the project. Also, the beneficiaries will be trained on fertilizer application and soil analysis. This is expected to shoot up farmers’ production, equip them with knowledge, increase their income and ultimately increase their standard of living, not also neglecting networking farmers to make more sales and international donor agencies to partner with in bringing about sustainable agriculture and food security.
The implementation of this approach will include mapping key areas of targeted audience; the identification of supplier/company producing the fertilizer in tons; working with group of three who have vast knowledge of agriculture, soil, fertilizer and farmers to repack the product into sizes based on options for the target audience and finally sell the product alongside our training and knowledge transfer program.
Monitoring and evaluation plan will be incorporated into the project.
The project sum is 5,000 U.S. Dollars (approximately One Million Naira in Nigeria currenty).
The budget reveals that a sum of US $401 will be spent on the shop rental for 2 years; in 1 year, a sum of US $803 will be use for the purchase of machines, materials for bagging and the designing of the product; on a monthly basis, US $200 will be used for purchasing the fertilizer in large quantity and in 1 year, the total spending will be US $2409; cost of labor will be US $481 for 1 year; training and transportation amounts for US $752 in a year and the miscellaneous cost have a share of US $150 for a period of one year.
Blogpost and pictures submitted by John Agboola (Nigeria) – john.agboola.o(at)gmail.com
Pictures courtesy One Acre Fund
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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