Four Hours Inside Farmcrowdy’s Kaduna, Nasarawa Farms

FARMCROWDY is Nigeria’s first technology-driven agriculture platform.

In the last three years of operation, Farmcrowdy has spread its tentacle to 14 states out of the 36 states of the federation with plans to extend to 17 before the end of 2019.

According to the chairman and founder of Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah, ”It is not actually the number of states we have presence that matters but the number of farmers we are able to reach because that is even more important. If we are able to reach like 100,000 farmers, that will go a long way as they would be excited to increase their revenue as a result of working with Farmcrowdy.”

The agricultural development feat achieved by Farmcrowdy had been generating series of reactions from stakeholders in the agric sector ranging from questions on how Farmcrowdy has been able to record huge success within its short spell in Nigeria’s agriculture space.

This prompted a visit by the Nigerian Tribune alongside other media organisations to Farmcrowdy’s ginger farm at Kurmin Dangana, in Southern Kaduna, where the farmers have successfully produced organic ginger certified by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, which after harvest will be exported to the United Arab Emirates.


Speaking to journalists president, Kaduna State Macedonia Ginger Farmers Cooperative Federation, Squadron Leader Nuhu Daudu (retd), who alongside other ginger farmers manage Farmcrowdy’s 100 hectares of organic ginger farm, informed that they presently produce 120,000 metric tons, while the new projection is put at 150,000 metric tons.

He also hinted that the ginger takes up to four or five months with good management to mature without the application of NPK fertiliser as it normally takes five to six months before it will be ready for harvest.

Speaking on the reason the farmers decided to go organic, Daudu said: ”The Western world is no longer interested in inorganic production. They believe that there are agents of cancer in the inorganic ginger. For that reason, we are purely into organic ginger production.”

“Also I want to tell you why the ginger here is different from others in the whole world; the fact is very simple. There is a particular substance in this area which promotes the growth of the ginger in a peculiar way and it is not found anywhere in the world.

“Some of our international partners have come to this place to pick this susbstance to test in the laboratory and see how they can put it in their own soil but it failed because it was naturally given by God almighty to us here. And that is why the aromatic nature of ginger in Southern Kaduna specifically here in Kurmin Dangana is peculiar.

Daudu, while answering questions on whether the farmers are not faced with the challenges of pesticide since there is no fertiliser application on the ginger, said: ”If you want to do organic cultivation, you have to ensure that the land is free of these pesticides.

“The goodness about the land we are having here is that it is a virgin land and it can get the certification within one year because the virgin land has not been contaminated by other chemicals.”

Daudu also hinted that, “We have 13 local governments under this organisation purely into ginger cultivation and we have the organisation at the apex which is Kaduna Macedonia Ginger Farmers Cooperative federation.

societies. It is actually a huge organisation, we have relationship with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations to see how we can showcase our ginger with a view to competing effectively with other countries of the world.”

He further said: ”What Farmcrowdy has successfully done now has been able to bring us into cluster farms. And under the cluster farms, we equally have an arrangement where we have the marketers and the processors in line.

“What we are trying to achieve at the end of the day is to ensure that we finally process this ginger while taking into cognisance international standard.”

Managing Director, Farmcrowdy, Kenneth Okonkwo, who was also on the trip to the ginger farm while speaking to journalists said:”What is paramount to us at this point in time is to ensure that we meet up with the required international compliance from the production level and not only just production, it starts from input.

“It starts from where are you sourcing your seedlings? Are the organic suppliers certified? Where are you getting your crop protection from? Because there are some chemicals that are not allowed in an organic programme.

“How do you control weeds? Weeds have the capacity of reducing yield by 40 per cent. So, how do you carry out those activities? Do you have crop protection products that are organic-certified? Do you have crop enhancers that are also organic-certified that can play the role of fertilisers in your activities?

“So, those are the procedures that we have put in place to ensure that the production side is handled. From the processing side, we are also working in conjuction with Macedonia to set up a proper and standard processing facility that will cut across harvesting of the ginger, the cleaning of the ginger because the water that will be used must also be certified.

“We are looking at the cutting of the ginger, when drying as well, we are going to be using industrial dryer as against what we see on the roads. Because those are the things that also reduce the yield and the quality of what comes out of Nigeria.”

At the Framcrowdy’s 100 hectares of maize farm domiciled in Gidankwano village in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, the coordinator of the farm, Innocent Mokidi, told journalists: ”We have been able to put new initiative into farming because in this farm, each hectare has 90,000 seeds and we are looking at six tons upward and so far so good we are doing very well and we have also been able to teach the community members Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).

“We started clearing this farmland in March this year and finished in May. We started planting in June and what that means is that we will start harvesting. So far so good, I can say we are doing very well and we are moving to the next level.”

Speaking on some of the challenges which are militating against the smooth running of the farm, Mokidi, said: ”The major challenge we are facing here is insecurity. Insecurity has been our greatest challenge and we have also another different kind of challenge because in agriculture you have to be able to look at some of the dynamics. For example, we are experiencing global warming because we were supposed to plant in May ending but we ended up planting on the 13th of June and we had a glut for about two weeks which also affected two of our hectares. So now we are supposed to be harvesting but we cannot because rain is still falling, that is to show that global warming is affecting us but the major challenge we are facing is insecurity.”

While speaking on the relationship between the farmers and Framcrowdy, Mokidi stated that the relatiosnhip has been cordial.  “Farmcrowdy has been able to do what anyone has not done for the farmers. Because through Farmcrowdy, they have been able to learn modern agricultural practice and also Farmcrowdy has been able to impact positively in their lives because the economic situation in the community has improved,” he said.

“Because there was a time, on a daily basis 132 people were working on this farm for four months with one thousand naira being paid to each person per day and that means N132,000 was going into that community everyday. An average food seller has a lot to sell because there is inflow of money in the community compared to what the situation had been in the past. Farmcrowdy has also been able to create permanent job for 30 people, then if you are talking about causal job, on a daily basis we have 132 people benefiting from that. So economically, Farmcrowdy has been able to impact on the community.”

One of the farmers, an old woman, Seriki Ayaso, told journalists that she appreciates Farmcrowdy for the support being rendered to her to cultivate corn, millet, melon and other crops. Another farmer, who craved anonymity said: “With the coming of Farmcrowdy, aside providing us with employment opportunity, we are able to make money to send our children to school, buy clothes and feed ourselves and the children.”


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