Nigeria’s leading agritech marketplace, EZFarming, has been selected by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to receive funding and technical assistance in support of food production and food security in Nigeria.
EZFarming is among the 32 companies selected to receive the funding totaling $4 million in the USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge.
The focus of the agritech company is to empower smallholder farmers to scale their farm sizes and sustainably increase food production to boost the supply chain ecosystem. EZFarming has established a farm estate of over 1000 acres in Osun State and will be replicating this across each of the 35 states in the country. The company enables smallholder farmers to scale their farm business at the estate, sources finance for them through a network of micro-lenders, supplies inputs for the smallholders and connects them to produce buyers.
Founder, EZFarming, Dr. Adewale Oparinde, said the grant from the USAID would accelerate the firm’s effort at scaling its model and also provide opportunities for more youths and women to expand their production capacity. We appreciate the support of the American people in bringing hope to many smallholder farmers and youths in the country. This reflects the quality of service and the trust capital that we have built over the past 2 years serving our clients around the globe. The company has expanded its services to bring more value to farmers ranging from microlending, produce marketplace, farm ownerships to EZ Country Homes, a new real estate set up that comes with investments in agricultural land.
According to him, “We have a proof of concept on our farm estate model in Osun State, providing a means of livelihood to youths and women in rural areas. The support and funding from USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge will enable us to expand on this model by supporting an additional 200 smallholder farmers to scale their farms and expand their production capacity while providing internship opportunities for several unemployed youths as a strategy to prepare them for the next investment cycle.”
Oparinde added that the firm continues to take the lead in providing support to farmers and value for money for micro-lenders, through its IoT-enabled platform to positively impact the agricultural value chain.
“With EZFarming’s model, micro-lenders fund smallholder farmers by leasing farmland and financing crop production and rainwater harvesting. EZFarming will also use USAID/Nigeria funding to support youth engagement in agriculture by assigning youth interns to farmers to gain experience and will provide training on the best agronomic practices to increase crop yield. With the expansion of their existing model, EZFarming will boost food security, increase farmer productivity, and improve standards of living at the base of the pyramid in Nigeria,” USAID said in a statement.
The USAID said that of the 32 companies selected for the grant, 19 are youth-led companies, while 13 are mid-stage companies.
Dr. Oparinde also said that “now that we have achieved another milestone, we do what we do best. Roll up our sleeves and get to work to deliver. We invite everyone to support us in empowering more smallholder farmers across Nigeria and enhance food security in the country together”.