Helen Akula, Head of NISRAL Project Monitoring , Reporting and Remediation Office in the State stated this yesterday when El-Kanis & Partners, a company that specializes in digital technology development for agriculture and food sector, made presentation to her and workers of NISRAL on several innovative technology platforms, developed to de-risk agribusinesses and provide solutions to food sector.
Speaking during the presentation, the MD of El-kanis and Partners, Engr. Ekanikpong Ben introduced El-kanis ibibio Switchboard IVR, sensored drones and farmX mobile app as tools that can minimize post harvest loss and create financing options for farmers.
Ekanikpong Ben, said that Farmx mobile App as one of the digital technological innovations introduced by El-kanis & Partners provide platforms where farmers can insure their farms to mitigate against risk, and existing and intending farmers are linked to agribusiness professionals of their choice to equip them with the requisite skills and also offer them hands-on training with existing farms which will help run their successful agribusiness on the completion of their training.
Responding, Mrs Akula added that it is necessary for intending and existing farmers to adopt the technology so as to acquire and stay updated with the requisite skills/ trainings on their choice area of agribusiness alongside financial literacy to be able to access loan to finance their agribusiness since creditors only give out loans to farmers who are prepared and capable of repaying the loan at the right time.
Helen Akula, who identified training as one of the key facilitators in running a successful agribusiness stated that training will help every potential farmer to determine the viability of his business idea and learn financial literacy to run a successful agribusiness.
‘’One of the major challenges that we have with most intending and existing farmers is that they don’t want study about their area of agribusiness before venturing want into it. They just think that once they have the business idea they can just launch into the business. They don’t know that not every business idea that is viable. Also, most farmers are financially illiterate, they don’t understand finances, they just think that once you have an idea you just walk up to bank and obtain loan. The basic things about the business are not kept. Whereas the first thing a creditor will do before giving out loan is to know the level of your preparation and risk exposure to ensure that the loan will be repaid and on time.’’
Chief Executive Officer of El-kanis & Partners expressed optimism that working with NISRAL to on board farmers and other agribusinesses on Farmx mobile App will mitigate the risk usually experienced by farmers in running their agribusiness, he also said that El-kanis will soon commence capacity building on technology adoption for farmers in Akwa Ibom in collaboration with ministry of agriculture and other relevant stakeholders.