Leveraging Technology for Food Sustainability.
August 24, 2021|
We hosted a virtual panel session with industry experts in the Agrotech/Agribusiness fields to mark International Youth Day. Two panels constituted the panel session. Our guest speakers for the first panel moderated by Yemisi Arowosafe, Communications lead, Tech4Dev were Ayodeji Arikawe, Co-Founder, Thrive Agric; Oyindamola Asaaju, Agribusiness Professional and Oluwatosin Ogunsola, Chief Executive, Templus Agro-Consults Limited.
Our second panel was moderated by Joy Uche, Programs Associate, Tech4Dev with some of our outstanding Women Techsters beneficiaries; Bongiwe Thwala, Amarachi Eke, Chilaka Precious Amarachi, and Sylvia Chebet, who worked on solutions to improve food systems. This event was held in sync with the theme of this year’s International Youth Day: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.”
The welcome address was delivered by Oladiwura Oladepo, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Tech4Dev. In her address, she spoke about the work Tech4Dev is doing and why this day is important to us. She also highlighted how the work we are doing is gradually influencing youths to create sustainable change in all sectors, including the food industry. She stated, “Our Women Techsters beneficiaries have built solutions to analyze climate change and crop production in developing countries using Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa as case studies, apps to help check the population, and so much more. It makes us happy to see young people think through existing problems and create technological solutions to them”.
After the welcome address, we delved into the first session. Conversations centered on issues affecting the global food systems and what is being done to address these issues. While addressing the issue of acquiring market information to create access to Market, Oyindamola stated, “In acquiring market information, we first target farmers who are tech-savvy, but a lot of rural farmers who are part of our segment do not have access to the internet so, we approach them by traditional means, meaning we go to them through their cooperative.”
With regards to the task of empowering farmers, Ayodeji talked about how this is what his organization, Thrive Agric is dedicated to solving “Our work is essentially working around small scale farmers. We asked ourselves how to ensure they have better lives. We figured that out by ensuring they have the right finances to produce and have the right information to ensure their productivity is amazing. We essentially built an in-house technology called the agriculture operating system. It has twelve operating applications that are being deployed by our field team, which today is about 8,000 people", he said.
Addressing the unpredictable climate change condition farmers are currently facing, Oluwatosin stated that planning is one way to be on top of this issue. “While starting production, planning is key. In planning, you need to factor in everything you need to have a successful production over the year. If you have a lot of variables that you can’t put a mark on then, it becomes much more unrealistic, and you have so much risk to associate with your business.”