Thrive Agric receives $1.5 million grant

Thrive Agric has begun an ambitious one-year program to help 50,000 smallholder farmers farming rice, maize, and soybeans, building on its effort to improve food security in Nigeria through technology-driven agricultural services.

The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is supporting this project with a $1.75 million co-investment grant as part of its commitment to enhancing agricultural business models in the country, including for these three staple commodities.

Over 140,000 farmers in Nigeria have already benefited from Thrive Agric’s assistance in improving their capacity to satisfy the supply, quality, and food safety requirements demanded by domestic and export markets.

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The company has done so by packaging a number of products and services that are generally beyond of reach for smallholder farmers, distributing them through its networks in rural areas, and cooperating with agriculture organizations to expand these efforts.

The company is also focused on using technology to help smallholder farmers in Nigeria and across Africa improve their livelihoods.

Thrive Agric, for example, provides farmers with direct access to seed and other input providers, farm machinery service providers, and off-takers in their area using its Tradr mobile app.

Thrive Agric, for example, provides farmers with direct access to seed and other input providers, farm machinery service providers, and off-takers in their area using its Tradr mobile app.

Tmoni’s mobile app, however, gives clients a digital wallet on their phone that they can use to transfer, receive, save, and borrow money.

Agronomy advisory services, pre-and post-harvest storage and logistics help, connection to credit and farm insurance products, and access to the company’s present and future mobile apps will be provided to the 50,000 smallholders chosen to participate in the experiment.

Thrive Agric has pledged to raise at least $10 million to fund this support as part of its relationship with the Trade Hub.

By the end of the 2021 season, the program will have generated at least 50,000 metric tons of rice, maize, and soybeans, which will be sold to premium markets and result in higher-than-normal income for farmers.

Additionally, the program will create 1,000 jobs for others in the agricultural sector, such as future farm, field, and warehouse managers.
Nearly 70% of these positions will be filled by women, who are frequently ignored for higher-paying management positions.

Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Thrive Agric, Ayodeji Arikawe, said

“Existing efforts to support smallholder farmers tend to follow traditional approaches to boost their agricultural productivity, such as commercial firms integrating them into value chains through modern inputs. We know that most smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth, require more nuanced support to facilitate their participation in markets and, ultimately, increase food security and incomes at the household and national levels. As part of the project, Thrive Agric will use its proven, forward-thinking strategies and technology to assist targeted farmers in Kaduna, Kebbi, and Kano States. All project beneficiaries will be either women or youth.”

While Michael Clements,  Trade Hub’s Chief of Party also said that

“I look forward to seeing the company’s success in using tech solutions to benefit these farmers. The lessons learned through their tech-savviness can be leveraged to assist future partners seeking innovative avenues to assist stakeholders in the agricultural value chain.”

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