Smallholder farmers set to increase productivity with digital technology

Solidaridad is partnering AgroXchange, a digital agriculture profiling platform, to assist smallholder farmers benefiting from its programmes in Nigeria to optimize crop yield, receive farm-level information and prevent crop loss.

Under the partnership, AgroXchange will provide crop monitoring, data analysis, crop production insights and early warning of natural disasters using digital technology, such as artificial intelligence, historical multispectral drone and satellite imagery.

In a memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations, Solidaridad will support AgroXchange with data on smallholder farmers, as well as build the capacity of the farmers in agricultural production systems and post-harvest handling of crops. 

Farmers will also be trained on the use of AgroXchange’s web-based interactive maps and dashboards, a platform for crop monitoring that enables off-takers to monitor the progress of farms from planting to harvesting. 

Kenechukwu Onukwube, programme manager for oil palm at Solidaridad in Nigeria, said the partnership will help expose smallholder farmers to the digital space, beyond the efforts of enhancing their productivity. This, he said, will enhance their access to markets, commodity trade facilitation and ensure traceability. 

“Farmers will now have access to real-time information that will contribute towards their resilience,” Onukwube said. 

Smallholder farmers receive training on the use of digital tool.
The adoption of digital technology will optimize crop yield, help farmers with firsthand information and prevent crop loss

For her part, Adewale Adegoke, chief executive officer of AgroXchange, said the collaboration will support smallholder farmers with evidence-based best practices to ensure compliance with agricultural production guidelines and indicators to gauge smart-farming. 

She indicated that the organization will also develop toolkits and literature on best practices and support Solidaridad in capacity building around digital technologies.

“Our partnership with Solidaridad will aid the uptake of digital technologies and provide farmers with insights that will improve crop yield and quality, preserve the environment and ultimately improve their livelihoods,” Adegoke said. 

The collaboration will also create a knowledge and data exchange pipeline with existing donor agricultural programmes, agricultural researchers, and academic institutions in Nigeria.

Smallholder farmers under the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) and the Sustainable Development Goal Project 1 (SDGP1), both implemented by Solidaridad in the country, will benefit from the partnership. 

The NISCOPS programme, which is funded by the Netherlands government and Henkel, is contributing to the attainment of self-sufficiency in the production of palm oil through climate-smart agricultural practices and sustainable intensification of farms, and improving smallholders’ productivity and livelihood. The SDGP1, on the other hand, is transforming the fruits and vegetable market in the Kaduna and Kano states, and the country at large.