By Raymond Benson, KMCO, Abia LIFE-ND.
In the bid to solve the challenges of sales currently witnessed in the market space, the Abia Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises, Niger Delta, (LIFE-ND), has begun the training of 13 youths on Agri-tech to boost agricultural marketing and other related issues.
According to the State Agribusiness Promotion Officer, Chukwuekezie Godwin, the empowered youths of the project flooded the market with more than 58,000 birds in the previous month, causing a glut in the offtaking of the products.
When LIFE-ND visited the training centre of these 13 youths at Innovation Growth Hub, Aba, Abia State, the beneficiaries were seen undergoing training on various identified challenging areas of agri-entrepreneur.
Speaking on the essence of this training, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hub, Mr. Daniel Chinagozi, said that the whole idea was to build the capacity of these youths on how to use technology to promote sales and other different areas of agriculture, which before now had been challenging, but unnoticed.
He identified the lack of this knowledge as one of the challenges that had plagued the nation, noting that technology would boost agriculture in research, production, sales and would in short time, create revolution in agricultural practices in the nation.
The CEO who is also a member of Afri-Lab Association of Hubs and Incubators, said that the participants are assigned and trained on the value chains of the state priority commodities like, poultry sales, seed bank, palm oil sales, palm education and land seed bank. Other areas assigned to them to create solutions were, land bank, online farm produce marketing, drone services and poultry marketing, among others.
According to Mr. Chinagozi,
“The 13 people I’m incubating are to within 30 days, provide core Agri-tech solutions, directing their ideas on agricultural space, have basic technology skills needed to run an agric-tech organizations, going through idea generation, and knowing how to pitch and sell their products”.
Addressing the illiteracy-related area of the local farmers, he said that the participants, having drawn from the rural areas would digest these issues in their local languages.
He promised to make Abia an “agric-techology Haven”.
Mr. Theo Jethro, a trainer who described the coping ability of the participants as “high”, said he measured this through “their progress with tasks given to them and promised to make them tech-savvy.
A female participant who majors in oil palm sales, Miss Chibuike, Glory thanked State, Federal Governments and IFAD for the privileged opportunity of achieving her long time dream, promised to assist farmers to make good sales.
Eze Solomon, a trainee on online farm marketing, described the opportunity as”one-in-a-million”, said he was happy with the shift to ICT marketing, noting that Nigeria has enough land mass, but hardly cope with sales, making agricultural products to rot away in the hands of the farmers.
The participants are also trained on software development, digital marketing, graphic design, data science, status building, website designs, and how to run businesses, among others.
The 13 participants who were drawn from 10 selected local governments of the state, were provided with laptops on September 23, 2022, to facilitate the training and implementation of their assignments.