With increasing population and looming food crisis in Nigeria, an agritech start-up, Farm4Me, is pioneering a new wave of mechanised and digital agriculture in the country.
The chief executive officer of the nine-month-old start-up, Adama .J. Adama, tells Pulse that the company seeks to reduce poverty and hunger in the country.
Ranked the number one agritech company in Nigeria according to Google, Farm4Me hopes to reward local farmers for their hardwork by establishing a market for their produce while creating a stable alternative stream of income for working class Nigerians.
"Our goal is to make mechanized agriculture, accessible, affordable and profitable for Nigerian farmers," Adama said.
"We hope to employ directly or indirectly about a million Nigerians and Africans and help our clients make as much gain from agriculture as possible.
"In just nine months, we have aggregated the highest number of tractors and farm equipment in Nigeria. We are pioneering a new wave of mechanized and digital agriculture in Nigeria. Farm4Me is inspiring youths, the working class and Nigerians in diaspora to invest in agriculture," he added.
A major challenge faced by the company, according to him, is the high cost of farm equipment.
"The major challenge facing my business is lack of farm equipment to meet the high demand. We tractors and other farm equipment we have are not enough for our clients. Some clients are asking for equipment that are not easy to access in Nigeria.
"Farm equipment are costly. We are open to financing options from banks and farm equipment dealers or manufacturers will help us procure more equipment," he said.
The young entrepreneur harped on the importance of mechanised agriculture.
"We also discovered that it is cheaper and faster to engage in mechanized farming than the subsistence farming that scared many young Nigerians away from farming."
With just N40,000 per day, a tractor, like one from Fastline Tractors, can cultivate at least five hectares of farmland.
Adama believes that mechanised agriculture can help tackle youth unemployment in the country.
"Agriculture is capable of tackling your unemployment in Nigeria. There is a high demand for farm produce locally and globally. We have huge orders that we can't fulfill. It is also easier to start a farm with little capital.
"So Nigerians will embrace mechanised farming and make good money from it. There is also a great opportunity to make money supplying commodities to buyers. This will give thousands of Nigerians decent jobs.
"There is money in agriculture. I see agriculture employing millions of Nigerians in the coming years," he declared.
Adama expressed optimism that the start-up would become the largest agribusiness company by size and volume of farms, produce, farm equipment, haulage, food processing and financing in the near future.