The aim of the crop centres is to improve the income of smallholder oil palm farmers, by increasing transparency in the value chain and enabling fair prices of fresh fruit bunches and other palm products.
The centres, which are in three communities benefitting from the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NI-SCOPS) in the Akwa Ibom and Cross River states of Nigeria, will provide farmers with access to improved farm inputs such as fertilizers and agrochemicals, training on good agricultural practices and access to markets for them to earn more from their produce right in their communities.
As part of the collaboration, Solidaridad will build the capacity of the farmers through community facilitators, ensuring that the efforts are yielding the desired results. Zowasel, on the other hand, will provide financial inclusion services and opportunities for farmers to connect with the right markets through its marketplace platform.
Jerry Oche, managing director of Zowasel, said the partnership with Solidaridad will continue to create and capture value for farmers, resulting in more transparency, productivity, increased revenue, and better livelihoods.
Over the years, Solidaridad has successfully built large clusters and a rich database of smallholder farmers across key farming communities in the Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu and Kogi states. Zowasel has built on this by developing and up-scaling its Crop Test Centres and Grain Booths across the communities to establish a direct point of sales targeted at strengthening and connecting rural communities with its twin blockchain technology and services.
Solidaridad implements the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders in the three states of Nigeria with funding from the Dutch government and Henkel.
The programme seeks to contribute to the attainment of self-sufficiency in palm oil production, through climate-smart agricultural practices and sustainable intensification of farms and improving smallholder productivity and livelihood.
The five-year (2019-2023) programme is implemented in partnership with The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).