Tech­nol­ogy key to trans­form­ing agric, says Cel­lu­lant CEO

The Punch - - INFORMATIO­N TECHNOLOGY - ’Femi Asu

TECH­NOL­OGY is a crit­i­cal en­abler to solve many of the chal­lenges in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor, the Co-chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Cel­lu­lant Cor­po­ra­tion, Mr Bo­laji Ak­in­boro, has said.

“Agri­cul­ture is enough to cre­ate wealth for Nige­ri­ans but needs to be prop­erly struc­tured for its po­ten­tial to be fully re­alised,” Ak­in­boro was quoted as say­ing at the firm’s in­au­gu­ral part­ners’ sum­mit in la­gos.

Ac­cord­ing a state­ment, the event, themed ‘Tech­nol­ogy for trans­for­ma­tion: Con­nect­ing ev­ery­one to Nige­ria’s $50bn agribusi­ness op­por­tu­nity and cre­at­ing jobs for Africa’s youth’, was at­tended by crit­i­cal stake­hold­ers in the agribusi­ness ecosys­tem in­clud­ing farm­ers, ag­gre­ga­tors and re­tail­ers.

Ak­in­boro, in his pre­sen­ta­tion, ti­tled ‘From farm to fork: Trans­form­ing the agribusi­ness in Nige­ria through tech­nol­ogy’, said the coun­try’s agric-value chain needed to be fixed. to

he said the con­sump­tion of food, the end-prod­uct of most agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in the coun­try, was worth about $100m daily and be­tween $36bn and $50bn an­nu­ally, open­ing up a stream of op­por­tu­ni­ties in un­der-ex­plored ar­eas of agric lo­gis­tics, food pro­cess­ing and tai­lored pay­ment sys­tems.

he said Cel­lu­lant had im­proved the agri­cul­ture value chain with its pay­ment plat­form, Tingg and Agrikore, built on blockchain tech­nol­ogy.

he said, “We are not just a fin­tech com­pany; we have the tech­nol­ogy and op­er­a­tions via Agrikore. When you com­bine tech­nol­ogy and op­er­a­tions, you can change the world. We are pro­vid­ing tech­nol­ogy that makes life bet­ter for ev­ery­one: Nige­ri­ans and Africans. We are the ones that can bring in the change.

“Tech­nol­ogy is a crit­i­cal en­abler to solve many of the chal­lenges ex­pe­ri­enced in the agric sec­tor. In the last 15 years, Cel­lu­lant has ac­tively con­trib­uted to con­nect­ing all key stake­hold­ers in the value chain, who in the past never in­ter­acted with each other.

“To­day, the busi­ness has built a mar­ket­place and pay­ment plat­form that pro­vides ac­cess to mar­kets, dig­i­tal fi­nan­cial ser­vices, and opens op­por­tu­ni­ties for all stake­hold­ers to col­lab­o­rate bet­ter and cap­ture the $50bn mar­ket op­por­tu­nity.”

Also speak­ing at the event, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/ Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Wema Bank Plc, Mr Ade­mola Ade­bise, re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of co­op­er­a­tion among all stake­hold­ers in the agric value chain.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the chal­lenges are low level of bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion, low fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy, a large per­cent­age of un­banked pop­u­la­tion and lim­ited ca­pac­ity of fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion to un­der­stand the value-chain.

Ade­bise said the bank would con­tinue to part­ner Cel­lu­lant to im­prove agri­cul­ture in the coun­try.

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