Transcription: How We Can Build African Food Security with Technology? -Shadrack Kubyane
Hey, Beautiful People.
Indeed. That is one of my biggest pleasures is always when I went to my old. I think it is important to first understand what a healthy relationship you should use for us to know what it is.
Not try, I can’t believe, I can’t believe you could be drawn farmer pretty soon trust. Trust me when I tell you there will always be challenges. There will always be risk.
Things like we have a lot in common walk. Come to the last talk. A lot about the show, and of course, it’s your favorite girl Sharon Idahosa. (End of intro)
Sharon Idahosa: Hey, Beautiful People. Welcome to another episode of the let’s talk, agriculture podcast show. Now, if you’re looking for the best place to get access to Quality information, then I can show you that you are at the right place.
As we invite experts to share the happenings, opportunities and a lot more.
So, you can benefit in any area of Agriculture you’re in now, I believe that we understand how crucial is first to achieve food Security in Africa and first see that we are really food secure then we must really boost and say that at all times, the populace has the physical economic and social access to enough food.
Now not just food but it has to have that that quality, we are looking for that nutritional Value that we need to have in food for us to get good health and well-being.
Now, it gets very tricky, you know, we want to be food secure in Africa and even though we have the capacity to be food secure, there is still a drawback and we cannot help.
But ask the question, can we how can we really boost our food system? Now that is the reason why we are here today, is technology, the way forward? Let’s find out. On this note.
Join me as I make welcome our guest for today’s show, Shadrack Kubyane. Hey a prominent. Yes of course. A prominent figure in the agricultural sector.
Thank you so much for joining my favourite podcast. Yes, it is my favourite. Whether anybody likes it or not?
Not, thank you for joining the show today. How are you doing?
Shadrack Kubyane: That is brilliant. Just brilliant. That makes the two of us. On our family table, the podcast has been part and parcel of our dinner conversations and no doubt across the African region.
It is the podcast is beginning to be part and parcel of the food or dinner conversation. Let’s talk agriculture, great to be here and greetings to the audiences and listeners your extended part of the family becomes our extended Out of the family, great to be here.
Thank you, Sharon,
Sharon Idahosa: Thank you so much for joining. I really appreciate you coming on the show. And of course, we are a family in this space and we have to work together to transform the agricultural sector.
So, what better way to do it if not to team up and be families, neighbors? You know, just to ensure that we are able to transform the agricultural sector. I like that mindset. I like it.
Shadrack Kubyane: There is that African proverb that says, it takes a village to raise an African Child. I think it takes many villages to feed an African Child.
Sharon Idahosa: of course. Yes, yes. I think so, too. I mean, we all have a role to play. So, let’s come together and start doing something, and I can see so many people coming together and that is the reason why we have you here, a very prominent figure when it comes to the agriculture sector.
So of course, I’m very pleased to have you here to share your experience with us. I mean, that is what the let’s talk, agriculture podcast is all about. So, thank you so much once again, for joining the show.
Shadrack Kubyane: Thank you, kindly. The pleasure is all mine. Much appreciated for creating this dinner table, where Africa can have a conversation within itself and beyond.
Sharon Idahosa: of course, just wait for what is coming. We have so much coming for this space and I can’t wait to push it out, but hey, that’s not what we are talking about today.
Just to get the ball rolling. Please tell us a little bit about you. I mean, what got you into the agricultural sector? How has it been so far in the Agric space? Just tell us something. I’m very sure my audience are very curious as well.
Shadrack Kubyane: Most certainly despite being among the pace setting leaders in the tech space in blockchain, in Agritech, what might be lesser known to most audiences until now it’s that I’m actually a third-generation farmer.
Meaning I was actually raised by two generation of highly Industrials farming women. That will be my late Grandma, who was actually farming coffee right here, coffee beans. Right here in South Africa, which is really less travelled coffee is mainly associated with the East Africa basin and elsewhere in the world.
But right here, she was a pioneer of note. She was humming African the heart of South Africa, just farming coffee beans, in the heart of South Africa. My mom was less adventurous but as equally industrious.
So, her crop of choice was a variety of of what do you call it, daily staple foods, such as your maze, your cabbages, tomatoes, and and those items that are really the obvious culprits at most dinner tables across the region.
And, of course, myself for most of my childhood, I actually lived off the ground. I was among the last generation in my Village that lived 95% of the ground, so we didn’t go to the shops.
March, If I was eating a chicken that night, it’s because this chicken really had me chasing it like Usain Bolt. That’s how it ended up on my dinner table. There was very little mystery there, there was very little mystery, I had to actually source my food within a minute to 5 minutes from my dinner table.
So we’re talking about where food comes from, fast-forward to later in life where I spent a bit of time in incorporate in industry And I did a few fun stuff in terms of management, consulting, scaling businesses and one of those scaling opportunities is what led us into agritech where we are now utilizing blockchain to bring the transparencies that are necessary within the the Agri landscape.
So that the big boys club can make some room for smallholder Farmers. So, that’s how I actually ended up in agri-tech.
A son of a farmer. It is now having a homecoming experience helping to rethink Africa’s Agric landscape.
Sharon Idahosa: Wonderful. I mean, that’s really amazing. So, think that we are still hearing more people saying they started from the, they have agriculture background, really and many of us, we just we dragged our legs into agriculture.
Shadrack Kubyane: Oh yes, it is deemed to be unattractive. If you have to look at the president of the Africa Development Bank. He laments, he laments. He’ll laments. That is a his Excellency, Akinwumi A. Adesina.
I believe he was once the agriculture Ministry and in Nigeria and he brought some strategic reforms. Him and his colleagues in that space, they often lament how agriculture itself appears to be the unattractive or the unwanted child of Industry.
Where Particularly Millennials and generation Z, or what do they call it bond freeze, they seem to really find it very unattractive and they label it as hard labor and been an unattractive level which is quite unfortunate. So platforms like like this one where we can engage around. Let’s talk, agriculture.
Hopefully, we are doing The Joint heavy lifting to really do away with some myths and some ill-conceived assumptions because food secure Africa is the Africa we want.
Sharon Idahosa: of course, of course. I mean, we have to really start putting it out to let people know that agriculture is really attractive.
Yes, I mean, this is something that we’ve been pushing out. I think we’ve had about two episodes to really push out the word saying, hey, we don’t want you thinking that agriculture is not attractive or it is not profitable.
I mean we’ve gone past that, this is a point where you come together where you come into the agricultural sector and do something very creative.
I mean, use your science. I mean, use your creativity and do something. Now, we need, we need farm management tools. We need drones, we need, we need very beautiful technology that could help us to transform the agricultural sector.
Not that is where you need to go to, right? You don’t necessarily have to go to the farm anymore. And that’s what we’re trying to let them know.
I mean, they’re not they I’m also in it, right? So we are the future.
Shadrack Kubyane: We are the hope and future of the continent. I think, most people they make that assumption. They fail to look at agriculture as an extreme sport, think about the Olympics.
One athlete can take the entire four years just to be able to have an opportunity to compete in that 10 second race, in that 20 second race or whatever activity. So, most eyes are on there are athlete.
However, there is an entire Our ecosystem of a team dynamic from coaching to Sport Science to what you call it to dietitian. There’s just a whole lot, one Sports person could actually have a team of 20 or 30.
So even with agriculture, a similar assumption applies. The athlete in this case is mainly the farmer, but the farmer doesn’t travel alone. I mean a commercial farmer by South African standards is anyone with an anywhere between 20 to 30 workers during a silent season and during Peak Seasons, that will be anyone with 7200 what they call it a farming human capital.
So we all look at the farmer but there’s an entire team Dynamic. So, yes, there is room for drones. There’s room for agritech, there’s room for our farm management, this room for biosecurity; that will be the protection of the livestock that, this is an entire room Agronomy and, and just a whole lot.
A lot of other other adjacent and supporting functions that are as equally if not more important than just the caption of farming itself, which by the way, in its truest sense, is not a one-man game, but it’s an extreme sport.
It’s a team. It’s a team sport, I agree.
Sharon Idahosa: I agree. It is actually a team sport, but we all have a role to play. I keep telling young people when I hear them, saying ‘agriculture is unprofitable.’
Listen, it’s not unprofitable. You just haven’t gone in with the right mindset. You know, many, many young people going to say, ‘I want, I want to make money out of this’. They see agriculture as we get rich quick scheme, right?
And that is not the mindset going. Imagine somebody, you have no idea about poultry farming. You have no idea about fish farming, and then you just go right in and you want to start.
I mean, did you bother to learn anything about it? So, and then it fails. You think? ‘Oh, Agriculture is unprofitable. I can’t do this and that.’
So, we’re trying to change all of that narrative agriculture is profitable. But what should you do to get a good foundation or knowledge of agriculture business? You need to understand before you get into it, I mean that that applies to business, right?
Shadrack Kubyane: Definitely
Sharon Idahosa: You don’t necessarily have to understand something without knowing it.
Shadrack Kubyane: One has to do their homework, irrespective of the task at hand, whether it’s good, whether someone is heading into software, engineering, coding or someone is heading into producing the staple diet that will keep Africa alive.
One has to do their homework and also one has to look Beyond temporary Trends and one is to look Beyond whatever. Whatever is trending on timelines of the moment, one has to think of it as a long-term game.
Maybe some of the audience’s may be contemplating medical Sciences. They could actually be an aggravate of salt so there’s just so much that that is concentrated on A farm.
Maybe they might even be a climatologist, who could be utilizing data science in order to project or two to chat out the seasons are head and they could be a go-to for an entire funding community. In order to help shape, the Africa we want, which is a food secure Africa.
Sharon Idahosa: Of course, of course, I mean, agriculture, present diverse opportunities for everyone. You just have to look for it. And I mean, you just have to find it. There are opportunity out there.
Shadrack Kubyane: Absolutely.
Sharon Idahosa: But then again, back to food security now, what can you really say? I know I mentioned that there are some drawbacks to achieving food security, but I cannot pinpoint that, okay, I’m entirely sure what the drawbacks are.
So, I mean, that’s the reason why we have here. Anyway, my job is point out what you said.
Shadrack Kubyane: Let’s go create a picture that’s going to bring Clarity to the audiences and clarity to the continent that large and of course, our neighbors, far of Elsewhere in Europe and other parts of the world.
There are three key pillars that one has to bear in mind when it comes to food security. Particularly from an African standpoint and those three pillars, just from a top level, we must consider:
number two accessibility and of course, accessibility goes hand-in-hand with availability and third,
but not least, we have to keep in mind sustainability
and if I Circle back to productivity, we have a we have a very unfortunate situation here on the continent of Africa. We are home to 65 to 70% of the global arable land.
Now that right there should be counting in our favour and just hold on a moment, our dear audiences so that I mentioned the next item that should also be counting in our favour. Africa is home to 40 million farmers and indeed agricultural sector on the continent, it is responsible for more than 60% of jobs or more than 60% of gainful employment.
So, we all these factors counting in our favour within the productivity scope you would think that we need to be smiling all the way to the bank.
But unfortunately, we are not. I mean here is a Baseline negatives, that are not really going in our favour, our food import bill here in Africa. And once again, I’m referencing his Excellency, president Adesina of the
African Development Bank, who lamented recently to say listen, we can’t have a scenario where despite being home to 60% arable land in the globe. Our food import bill is increasing annually at an alarming rate.
Some up benchmarking, it that is sitting 100 billion a year. Others are saying it’s going to pass 100 billion a year by 2025, but either way, we are racing in the wrong direction in terms of over-reliance on our neighbors.
I’m sure when the good book said, love your neighbour, it didn’t mean that you must lean entirely on your neighbour in terms of food, dependency where you are food insecure.
So we are very food insecure when one considers that, despite the arable land positive, the negative, is that our food grocery import bill, is swelling.
And of course, we also have a scenario of very low yield from this African Farmers.
We’re from those 40 million, about 36 million to 77 million of them are actually smallholder Farmers, if there’s one thing Africa is to do away with is we need to do away with smallness.
We need to ensure that we scale our smallholder Farmers into a semi-commercial. If not full-scale commercial because while our smallholder farmers are remaining small, our population is anything but small, I’ll be touching on that later.
But we are actually heading towards a scenario where by 2035 Africa’s population is going to be passing the two billion, what you call it as citizen mark, but more on that later.
Let me touch on the second pillar, accessibility. If you are to consider how I grew up, living off the ground and where food towards my dinner table came from within a five-minute radius and I was among the last of the sustenance farmers in my Village.
It becomes a weird are picture today.
Where not only farming our food in the urban centres or the cities, but some of the city children don’t actually, are ill-advised or they will assume that milk comes from the grocery stores.
They do not know that milk actually comes from cattle. There is cattle Upstream in the value chain, what else? They’re just consuming milk that always coming out of the cotton.
So, our levels of ignorance need to really be done away with accessibility not as to the food but accessibility knowledge and example that I can make.
I got a number of applications outside of the ephah, my app. I’ve got a number of applications as a consumer this time but an industry leader. Where I can really saw some groceries and ingredients, it will take me 50 minutes.
Even during this call, I could grab my other phone and Source perhaps ingredients to make myself an Italian Dish. Maybe one of those creamy pastas those ingredients will be here at my office within 15 minutes, but if I try to look for ingredients to make myself a Goosey or Agra or jollof rice being here in South Africa, I might need a treasure map and lots of prayers to try and solve those within an ad or within Reach.
I’ll have to really, really travel hard, but yet, I mean Africa, why are this these things not accessible? Of course, that might be considered more on the luxury end. But even staple diet, is proving to not be accessible to the people that need it most
And then, last but not least Pilar sustainability, we need to increase our production capacity.
In order to ensure that our farmers are not just farming but they’re farming efficiently and they are seeing the high yields, that the future of Africa would need for us to become a self-sustaining continent that are not only trade within itself, but also some amongst itself.
Sharon Idahosa: Thank you for sharing that. I really agree that we should support the smallholder farmers. I mean, to ensure that they can actually move away from small farming to commercial farming.
I mean smallholder farmers are major contributors. And of course.
You help us to really grow the agricultural sector, but then again, I have you, have you thought about the fact that many of these Farmers that are practicing small-scale farming, probably and content with where they are.
Because sometimes I feel like most people are content with where they are, they’re just comfortable with just producing at a small scale. So, I don’t know what your experience are? Because I have experience actually.
Shadrack Kubyane: Yeah, that is that is actually quite a quite a good. What do you call it?
That’s quite a good aspect to touch on however in our contentment, you know, one of the skills that I was taught farming back home was how to I mean we I used to actually raise chickens.
It’s one of the things we all do poultry and I’ll do crops as well on behalf of my mom.
So, think of me as the little farm manager who has like from the age of 5 until the age of 15, I was busy around my mom’s smallholder farmer but one of the things that she taught me that is relevant to your question is that I often had to trade my senses to be on the lookout for two things that could be a threat to crops or even to our poultry environment.
The first one is a hawk. If there is a hawk in the sky, if I don’t see it and therefore get the chickens to safety. Therefore, I run the risk of that hot pouncing aiming and pulsing and lifting off, a chick or even God forbids, their the the mother hen itself.
So, I had to look out for the hawk and I’m going to tell you my motivation for the smallholder farmer who might have tuned in which I expect them to have.
At this time, the second threat that I had to train my senses to be conscious of at all times. Is to always be able to observe Gathering clouds above my head, you see are those good clouds, the dark cloud can bearing gifts.
Such as good rain that the crops need or is that some Wicked clouds that have got a wicked agenda?
Meaning they could bring a storm or they could bring hail damage and things like that in which case I need to really, really mobilize into action.
So dear smallholder farmer,
If you are listening to this conversation between experts, my way to you, is that We are not here for ourselves. There are some clouds there’s some wicked clouds gathering out there which by 2035 Africa’s population would have gone over the two billion mouths to feed.
So those two billion mouths to feed just like how we have to not be comfortable, when our child has is now about to reach either in school-going age, or is about to reach a university going age.
We don’t go like no no we are all content with our income, we start finding a way to win as one of my mentors are often tells me.
So, finding a way to win means that we have to create a legacy where, however, small or midsize input. We have we can’t remain in our comfort zone.
Number one by not passing on the farming Legacy by not passing on their indigenous insides and secondly, we can’t restrict smallholder farming to just feeding the household and using a bit of a surplus to send it to the market.
No, we have to realize that we have an obligation to feed the village.
Maybe not the nation, maybe not the continent, but if every smallholder farmer can focus on satisfying, the food demand in their corner of the village that is about to undergo population explosion, then not only will that smallholder farmer phase a better financial future, but they’ll also see their Village collectively facing a Food secure future.
So in a nutshell on this point, I’m saying dear smallholder farmer, It’s great to be content, great to be as satisfied with your portion, or your lot in life.
But remember, most of us, regardless of your religious beliefs, most of us are to exist for a bigger purpose. Whether that purpose is to leave our household in a better financial position than we were.
I’ll give an example smallholder Farmers today. They are part and parcel of the 811 million people that go to bed hungry. I’m sure the small holder farmers are really freaked out about that situation.
Hence, farming efficiencies must come in so that they can be a better projecting of their income and a better income protection.
We won’t speak income protection if we don’t speak improvements of our farming efficiencies, farming operations, including financial inclusion.
Meaning at kind of smallholder farmer evolved Beyond farming in their backyard where the land is not titled or it’s not mortgaged and come to a point where that the land can have a better at what they call it a bankable collateral in the form of title deed.
So this is fair.
And number of Hoops that the smallholder farmer has to jump over in order to live for most of their household, but they are Village or city neighbourhood in a much better financially included position than in their days.
So whether our smallholder farming Community will pick up this idea this clip or this discussion and really move more towards formalization and also just improving their methodologies or they’re going to say well and shrug and say that’s not for me, I just feed.
I just found to feed my tummy and feed my adjust, my mother’s family, it will be up to them but I appeal to Them. I’m not instructing them, I really am almost on my knees right now and saying, Dear smallholder farmer, if your farm was feeding hundred in 2023 realize that 2035 is not so far away.
Actually, my family and I will come Saturday. So, 2035 it’s only six hundred and four Saturdays away. So, by 600 for Saturday’s away we are hoping fingers crossed and prayers abundant that you will move Beyond feeling 100, at least feeding a thousand because the reality is, the clouds are gathering. The hawk is looming above our heads.
We are about to have a non-sustainable two billion mouths to feed. So, if you all do our heavy lifting now, part of Africa, maybe the Africa we want will materialize In Our Lifetime?
Sharon Idahosa: Thank you so much.
So, I think that there’s a lot of work to be done so it’s more about connecting with them directly because trust me a lot of them are really just comfortable with where they are.
Why I’m saying this is mainly because I was opportune to meet with with some farmers in a particular Village and from my interaction with them.
I realized that they were just comfortable with doing this small making the small sales that they were making. And to think that I wanted to come with something bigger, you know, I’m like, okay, let’s do this.
I have this, I will probably want you to sell this ogbono or for me in bags, you know, and up till now they’re not giving me the vibes that I need and I’m like, okay, what’s Going on.
Don’t you want to sell in large quantity? Shouldn’t that be what you should look out for?
You know, they’re saying this is the amount, I can do, this is put this thing is abundant around you, so you do not necessarily have to put in so much, right?
I’m just saying you can do this and earn more for yourself, push it outside, but then that was not the response. So I just, I just concluded that many are really comfortable where they are.
And so, there’s some things you can’t really change. We can only do the best you can really. And I think that’s what we’re doing.
Shadrack Kubyane: That is really, that is really heartbreaking, but I’m hoping that from the farmers that you are dressed and you appealed to their, to their common sense or you appeal to their heart.
Hopefully, in future podcast conversations, we will hear you update us and say, you know what one or two actually step forward and grab the challenge.
Maybe not the entire farming Community, maybe not the entire Village, but I’m really praying that in future engagements as we continue talking agriculture that some of them will really begin to step forward because think about it, think about it, across sub-Saharan Africa alone.
There is more than 44 million micro and small to medium Enterprises, 44 million. But if you were to ask according to a recent McKinsey study, Only 400 companies on African soil make an annual revenue of more than a billion $dollars.
And while it’s not about the money, Income at That level gives one options. Income at that level equals Financial Security for households equals jobs job creation and a lot of things and I think while on this point in line with your visit to the Village to try and really that the smallholder farmers to maybe check out, check out of their comfort zone in keeping with that.
We have to keep in mind that Africa is home to business, whether you’re in Kenya, whether in Nigeria, whether in South Africa. Africa is alive with Entrepreneurial Innovative Spirit.
We have resilience. We can start businesses, just like that.
But where Africa is facing a huge deficit, we are not producing industrial list at the level that we need them in order to see a food secure Africa or even a financially secure Africa, one that does not rely on on borrowing.
From the likes of the IMF that is that is landed on borrowing from the likes of World Bank. We love them, we appreciate them.
But we cannot really, really face a future where we are over-indebted Africa and to get out of debt and things like that, we have to get our financial security right.
Get our food security, right. And we need way more than 400 companies that are employing or even realizing Revenue at that age.
So hopefully like a voice in the wilderness, these discussions that we are having around this particular, let’s talk Agriculture dinner table, will somehow spark a resonating domino effect across other dinner table, including those that are being held by our small holder to semi commercial Farmers, that they will rethink that.
Wait a minute, farming is never meant to be a hand-to-mouth operation. It can really become a scalable Commercial sized Enterprise. And when they do that, they is words of one of our leaders within this space.
Professor Ndubisi, he often says that Africa Rises, when its leaders rise.
So, unless we get to rise beyond our comfort zone of settling for minimal or settling for little and we venture out to that Promised Land called the land of more than enough, then unfortunately we may leave our current Generation all our, our incoming generation in a much worse position than we were ourselves.
Hopefully, that’s not the Africa will realize.
Hopefully, we’ll see more industrialist.
More Visionaries and more than contest will enter the the space in a much fister and a multiplier effect than we saw in the past.
Sharon Idahosa: I really appreciate. I mean we do not want the incoming generation to to be left with all the shit that we should have actually stopped at the back, so we want them to come and face so many challenges. That is why we are still trying to push them into the direction of Technology.
Because we know that technology has a role to play in. Transforming the agriculture sector in boosting up of our food security.
So, what do you really think technology can do from your own perspective? I mean, considering you in the agri-tech space. So, what can you really say as real technology can play to boost our food system?
Shadrack Kubyane: Most definitely. There are some strategic select roles that technology can play alongside our industrious Farmers, alongside our smallholder Farmers or even commercial scale farmers, in order to produce a food, secure food, secure future for Africa.
So technology in that sense is really a fellow colleague rather than a foreign object on the farm and technology first and foremost of retouch on product.
Technology can assist our African farming Community to realize a higher yields and much better productivity. Africa is known for its humanity and resilient.
We also call it a boon to in South Africa. Meaning I am because we are, we are known for such across Africa, not just essay.
However, we also are known as Africans to make a little to go a long way to really weather the storms and remain standing.
However, technology by way of the sharing of farm equipment, the sharing of insightful knowledge, which is what we are doing on this podcast.
Remember their audiences, we are talking agriculture.
So hopefully we won’t just do a, let’s talk agriculture on the podcast itself, but it will ignite fires out there so that the sharing of our knowledge base of what technology can do, can be out there and of course, technology will also help to bring efficiencies around our pack houses processing plans, so that we are seeing less and less of foodways.
Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, we share together in those championships that are regrettable of seeing our food post-harvest losses. In terms of food, food, waste is sitting at anywhere between 40 to 50%.
So how is it that not only are we food insecure as Africa, the moment but we also seeing the food that we are harvesting become wasted.
I mean, we’ve got tons of Africa that do not have established cold chain so at an infrastructure level, there are some infrastructure gaps that have to be addressed regionally.
So, and also technology can also add enable seamless, seamless Collective, collective bargaining.
I’ll give an example. Pardon me a hundred farmers can now come together within an application like the e-farmer app for which I am the CEO and co-founder and other similar applications across Africa whereby they can group together and then be able to be trained and improve their knowledge and group together and be able to supply a particular multinational or a particular Enterprise that is seeking to to Source from them.
But maybe they cannot provide minimum order quantities and such and maybe they don’t have the right equipment or they don’t have the right collateral at the bank to put up in order to afford that equipment, but 100 Farmers on the platform, like E-Farmer can lift together as they rise.
So, and also with blockchain, which is our specialty area in supply chain and Technology, blockchain brings about supply chain transparencies, meaning dear audience, when you going to have dinner tonight.
Do you know where your dinner came from?
Do you know whether that chicken came from somewhere within Nigeria or it was imported from outside Nigeria?
Do you know what a shelf life of that chicken has been since it has been in the fridge?
Do you know where your crops came from?
Do you know what type of inputs are types of types of anti or pesticides that when you eat that which maybe that might give to you the unwanted gift of disease-causing pesticide, you don’t know?
So that’s why technologies like, like blockchain.
They Bulletproof the truth as to following that crop from a point of origin of provenance, right all the way to ensure that there are no surprises along the way, especially in transit, in storage and even at the crop lacking.
And of course, smart contracts. Some of the things that caused Farmers to really nearly be out of business is this thing of having to collect on debt?
This thing of having to wait for suppliers to pay or rather than having to wait even for your client, rather, the waiting for a client to pay.
But things like smart contract, automate trade and automate transaction without going into technical details.
A smart contract means if my produce leaves my hands and goes towards Sharon’s hand, and once you’ve helped with the produce, I won’t even have to call and say, dear Sharon, please remember to make payment but no, with my contract Part of that farming transaction.
The smart contract will automate the payment.
So those are their audiences are some of the specific Tech touch point where technology can become a colleague not a foreigner on the farm from sharing of equipment from bringing efficiencies, in the pack house, and also, from bringing about the cold chain or Transit Efficiencies to even improving the rate, at which, we are picking the fruit if we are doing fruit picking or The rate at which we are processing the food.
And I mean the food, if we are dealing with packaging vegetables, technology is our friend is not our enemy here to take jobs.
It’s yet to really alleviate pressure and be the colleague on the farm to help us do the joint heavy lifting indeed.
Sharon Idahosa: Indeed, technology is not here to take anyone’s job. I keep. I keep saying it.
Shadrack Kubyane: Yeah, please never tire. Please, never Tire in saying it.
Sharon Idahosa: It is not going to take anyone’s job.
I mean, I’m really so pleased with the blockchain technology. I think it makes everything very smooth for us and one of my previous episodes we talked about blockchain technology and of course the employment.
So, people could know that because there was this controversy going around that technology is going to take my job and I love this so we keep pushing it out.
And letting people know know, technology is not taking your job even on my last episode with Femi yeah, we talked about Drone technology so we had to still push out that message again to let people know that technology cannot take your job, it would only take you a job if you decide not to go with the trend, right?
You have to keep up. You have to keep up because if you don’t keep up then I mean Technologies change. I mean change is constant so things will continuing changing.
Shadrack Kubyane: I think in that regard. I mean farming is approaching the Dance Floor.
You always have to keep your dance shoes nearby and keep them on you or else you might mistakenly have your toes being trampled upon.
So, the dance shoes, meaning refining your knowledge, always being aware of your position on the dance floor.
So yes, trades and farming is like dance you’ve got to know what the trends are, what the requirements of the market are and hence it can’t be left within the Confines of small holding.
It can’t be held back within those four walls. Farming has to evolve out of that and become a fully-fledged commercial Enterprise that is sensitive to market trends, Market Dynamic, and changing Market forces.
So, let’s keep our dance shoes on. If we see farming as a dance floor.
Sharon Idahosa: of course, we are keeping their shoes on. I don’t know about any other person but I am.
Shadrack Kubyane: Yeah. That makes all of us.
Sharon Idahosa: of course, you did, mention the E-farmer app, so tell me how can, how can farmers and small business owners utilize the E-farmer app for their business growth because, of course, Technologies emerge, right it has to prefer, it has to offer Solutions, right?
So, what can E-farmer do for businesses to ensure they grow in the agriculture sector?
Shadrack Kubyane: Most definitely, most definitely, you know, in the olden days they’ll say, be on the lookout, this is coming. This movie is coming to a cinema near you, but you don’t have see that much anymore.
So I’ll just say be on the lookout. Dear farmer, be on the lookout dear consumer. E-farmer is coming to a cinema near you, meaning is coming to a fold near you. You will be rolling out across the continent having launched just a few weeks ago.
So, the three things that we focus on as if SE famer, the first one is access to market. The second one is product quality or quality assurance. And the third one is business sustainability
On that first pillar OUR focus, which is access to Market through the marketplace, or the e-commerce Marketplace; which is via a mobile application that is downloadable at the moment, we enable Farmers to directly connect with buyers, particularly commercial buyers, and consumers and therefore eliminating the need for unnecessary intermediaries or too many middlemen that put an inflation, on each transaction.
So that’s the first part.
We simplify the life of farmers and we bring consumers for their convenience in the room by connecting Farmers to commercial buyers and consumers.
Second part, the product quality, farmers can achieve product quality assurance much cheaper and quicker through the to the informal quality, assurance environment.
And of course, farmers can also use the application to manage their processes within the farm and even leaning more towards the pack house and processing operation, to ensure a consistency in their farming output.
There’s nothing as boring as enjoying crops from a farmer today but a week later it’s like the Crops were harvested from a totally different farm.
So consumers need quality consumers need consistency. Hence our quality assuring a capacity.
Last but not least, last but not least business sustainability. We we spoke a lot earlier on, on why smallholder farmers need to consider taking a leap and leap of faith across the Great Chasm to start growing.
The business of the sustainability means that farmers can now manage their inventory can manage their revenue and can manage their order management within this this tool that E-farmer app enables that serves as proof of trade to ensure that their financial included and there’s a lot of sustainable development goals conversations that speak about Farmers African Farmers must be financially included.
So that the E-farmer app is touching on that Financial Inclusion and food security for their farming household.
There’s nothing as heartbreaking as when I enjoy my dinner sometimes outside of the E-farmer app.
If I didn’t fetch my produce from there, I start wondering is the farmer on the other side of this dinner, who actually labour to laboured for days if not weeks for me to have this dinner, are they hungry tonight?
So we can’t have hungry Farmers anymore. We can’t have Farmers that are having a pittance in terms of Revenue or pricing for their produce, we kind of farmers that join that continue to join the 811 million.
Global Citizens that go to bed hungry, we have to remove as many farmers from their hands.
The E-farmer app brings are that the access to markets the product quality assurance and to sustain the business via Financial inclusion or records, that you can basically take to the bank.
Sharon Idahosa: Thank you so much for sharing that. Guys you’ve heard everything. I mean so many wonderful solutions for your business. Take advantage of Technology when we say. Because trust me, it is here to just make your life easy.
All you have to do is take advantage of it. You have the permission.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
Shadrack Kubyane: Absolutely
Sharon Idahosa: Once again, we’ve come to the end of today’s episode.
I really hope that you learn from this podcast and you’re able to share this episode with your colleagues, with your loved ones, that means your business partners because this is really an insightful episode that no one should miss.
I mean, no one should miss it. So, thank you so much guys.
Thank you, our guest, for today I really appreciate you once again I keep, I really love appreciating my guest because I mean it is not easy to have.
Shadrack Kubyane: I must thank you, because let’s talk Agriculture is a resource that I would recommend to those listening now to not only share it but to also frequently share it even as the episodes are growing because to me and my family, let’s talk agriculture is more than a podcast, it’s a dinner table that we should frequent as often as we can and I’ll encourage the same for listeners across Africa, the diaspora and other parts of the world.
Sharon Idahosa: Thank you so much, we really appreciate it.
I mean, guys, we have over 60 episodes here.
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