Group Collaborates to Train Cassava Farmers

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Oluchi Chibuzor

In a bid to boost cassava production in the country, SmartFarm Nigeria, an Agri-tech company has collaborated with Psaltry International Limited, to train cassava farmers.

The aim of the partnership was for the cultivation of about 5, 000 acres of cassava for Psaltry International newly installed cassava processing plant.

Also, the partnership is targeted at training over 1,000 smallholder farmers and connecting them with the market for their produce, thereby impacting their livelihood positively.

Speaking recently in Lagos, at the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), between both firms, the Chief Executive officer, Psaltry International Limited, Yemisi Iranloye, said the partnership would boost productivity of local farmers.

According to her, “We are excited to partner with SmartFarm Nigeria to provide technology-driven farm-practices that will help farmers increase productivity and this partnership will improve the livelihood of farmers and increase commercialization of Cassava in Africa.” 

She stated Psaltry International was exploring innovative approaches to improve the country’s cassava value chain.

Iranloye, who said Psaltry was into the processing and sales of the finest quality cassava derivatives such as starch, flour, and sorbitol among others, added that SmartFarm Nigeria would provide the business 150,000metric tons of cassava tubers for its new factory yearly.

On her part, the founder, SmartFarm Nigeria, Modupe Oyetoso, said there was a disconnect between smallholder farmers and large agro-processing factories needing their produce owing to issues around quality.

The organisation uses remote sensors to track crop progress throughout the farming season so that it can provide farmers with the needed advice to improve their farm efficiency and maximise the use of inputs.

SmartFarm through its crowd-funding platform connect farmers to finance, enabling them access key farm inputs and mechanisation services to maximise their yield per hectare.  

Investors on the platform earn as high as 40 percent by investing in cassava farming through the SmartFarm Nigeria’s website.

She added: “Farmers produce then look for market, while processors find it difficult to get the raw materials they need because what the farmers produce does not meet the desired quality or the volume produced is too low.

“Our goal is to bridge this gap by leveraging on technology to organise, monitoring and empower farmers to cultivate crops that will meet the need of local processing companies so they would not have to depend on imported farm produce.”