Trade Hub has revealed that it sealed a collaboration with Thrive Agric to support 50,000 smallholder women and youth farmers in rice, maize and soybean value chains.
This comes after Thrive Agric received a $1.75million co-investment grant from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub).
The initiative seeks to co-invest with the private sector to generate new private investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports in West Africa.
It was reported that the fund will support 50,000 smallholder women and youth farmers growing rice, maize and soybean in Kaduna, Kebbi and Kano.
The farmers will receive agronomy advisory services, pre-and post-harvest storage and logistics support, links to credit and agricultural insurance products and access to the company’s current and future mobile applications.
Thrive Agric also revealed that aside from the funds generated via the partnership, it will raise at least $10 million to further fund the project.
The project is expected to produce at least 50,000 metric tons of rice, maize and soybean by the end of the 2021 season, which will be sold to premium markets and result in farmers getting higher incomes.
It would further create 1,000 jobs for others in the agricultural value chain, including those in the farm, field and warehouse managers.
However, 70 percent of these jobs will go to women who are often sidelined when it comes to higher-paying managerial 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.”
On his part, Trade Hub’s Chief of Party, Michael Clements stated, “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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