11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Hosted by HEDA Resource Centre
Lagos Travel Inn Hotel 39 Toyin Street Ikeja Lagos
Agriculture remains Africa’s biggest sector and the largest employer of labour with about 70% of Nigeria’s active labour force engaged in and deriving their livelihoods from it. Despite the large production of food and widespread agricultural practice, hunger and malnutrition has continued to soar in Africa and Nigeria especially. According to UNICEF, Nigeria is facing a crisis of child malnutrition and ranks second behind India among all countries with the highest number of such cases. Almost 30 percent of Nigerian children are underweight and that is more than double the proportion of Ghanaian children who are underweight. Each year, no less than one million Nigerian children die before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition contributes to nearly half of these deaths.
Small scale farmers are the main producers of over 80% of food and agricultural produce in Nigeria. However, the current food system does not help the farmers derive maximum returns on their investment. The process of distribution remains a major challenge to the small scale farmer. Middlemen intervention raise price for consumers, thereby making farmers encounter high production costs in their efforts to boost production but hardly get fair pricing of their products from the middlemen, the bulk farm gate buyers. The real profit goes to the middlemen who buy up the farm products at almost give away prices and sell at outrageous prices to the consumers. This attitude of middle men has resulted in loss of revenue and low standard of living for small scale farmers as well as discouraged genuine investors and young people from getting into agriculture because of the marginal profit associated with it as the middle men cart away the bulk of the profits. Other factors such as climate change, land grabs, food price spikes and intensive farming, poor capacity, food wastage, market access, reliable eco-system, extension support, knowledge exchange and access to technology have also contributed greatly to increased hunger and poverty.
In recent times, young people are using information technology to build innovative solutions to champion the cause of food security, improved nutrition as well as to address challenges and problems of the agricultural sector in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Last year, HEDA organized a successful Social Media Week event with the theme Connected Farmers, Connected Fortunes. The event had over 70 participants which included young farmers, IT experts (application developers, designers, and social media experts), and stakeholders in the agricultural sector as well as Government agencies and parastatals. With the event, HEDA was able to build a network of farmers, information technology experts and policy makers to facilitate easy communication and information sharing on the challenges encountered by farmers especially small scale farmers and how information technology tools can be utilized to develop long lasting solutions to these problems.
Building on this, the AgroConnect 2.0 platform will allow small scale farmers, policy makers, information technology experts critically look at the challenges of the agricultural sector and develop information technology solutions that will help end hunger and improve food systems, as well as improve nutrition.
Venue & Location
Lagos Travel Inn Hotel39 Toyin Street