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Swiss blockchain to restore trust in Nigerian agriculture

An interview with Victor Adejoh, Synergos Nigerian country director, about the agricultural landscape, technology, and challenges.
Swiss blockchain to restore trust in Nigerian agriculture
Swiss blockchain to restore trust in Nigerian agriculture
Technology and trust will transform agribusiness in Nigeria
Technology and trust will transform agribusiness in Nigeria
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit and inequity in Nigerian farming
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit and inequity in Nigerian farming
The project will create transparency and trust among all agribusiness stakeholders
The project will create transparency and trust among all agribusiness stakeholders
The people of Nigeria need better living conditions
The people of Nigeria need better living conditions
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit in Nigerian farming
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit in Nigerian farming
Mutual trust is the key to successful collaborations, development and a better quality of life
Mutual trust is the key to successful collaborations, development and a better quality of life
Transparency, trust and new technology are the basis for the future development
Transparency, trust and new technology are the basis for the future development
Victor Adejoh believes that the pilot is the first step in the digitization of Nigerian agriculture
Victor Adejoh believes that the pilot is the first step in the digitization of Nigerian agriculture
Synergos Nigeria contributes to a world built on trust, peaceful and regenerative
Synergos Nigeria contributes to a world built on trust, peaceful and regenerative
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Last year, Nigeria launched a pilot project to digitize agriculture on a large scale. Hundreds of thousands of farmers will get access to digital management tools. The partners leading the pilot, FCE Group AG, TransparenTerra, and Synergos, face immense and complex challenges. We spoke with Victor Adejoh, Synergos Nigeria’s country director, to learn more about the project's progress, challenges, and plans.
What is the direction of Synergos' activities? What is your work like as country director?
Synergos is an organization that works with a wide range of stakeholders to address leadership gaps. We initiate and support systemic change in the agricultural system. Since it is the main source of livelihood and sustenance for Nigerians, we must ensure the transition from subsistence farming to agricultural business. The lack of coherence and alignment is a big issue we are dealing with. My work is going well. Each office brings its own expectations, and I use my role to bridge divides.
What are your recent significant accomplishments?
I have supported the digitization of the documentation and research systems of the Niger and Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture and promoted and catalyzed the formation of a platform to coordinate the sector. I have also supported the development of the agricultural policy and agricultural investment plan.
What are Synergos Nigeria's visions?
A world built on trust that is just, fair, peaceful, and regenerative.
What is your assessment of the current environmental and social state of Nigerian agriculture?
There is a trust deficit and inequity in the agricultural landscape. Farmers are not given effective incentives to increase their production, financial institutions are reluctant to lend, and technology is still poorly utilized.
Technology and trust will transform agribusiness in Nigeria
Technology and trust will transform agribusiness in Nigeria
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit and inequity in Nigerian farming
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit and inequity in Nigerian farming
The project will create transparency and trust among all agribusiness stakeholders
The project will create transparency and trust among all agribusiness stakeholders
What prevents farmers from producing and harvesting a good harvest?
A weak network, lack of transparency, low use of digital tools, poor access to markets and improved inputs, weak soils, and climate-change challenges.
You recently entered into a partnership with FCE Group Switzerland. What is the purpose of this partnership?
We will promote the use of FCE's blockchain and TransparenTerra's advanced technology to build trustworthy relationships between stakeholders in the Nigerian agricultural sector.
Do you believe technology can help restore trust?
Yes, I do. In the agricultural sector, intermediaries put pressure on farmers, and underestimate prices for agricultural products. Farmers also have no direct access to the market and no data on actual market prices. The lack of knowledge of product and market prices, lead to the ruin of individual farmers and the decline of agriculture in Nigeria as a whole. Technology will help provide a platform for transparent access and networking among stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
What does the Nigerian government think about blockchain?
The Nigerian government recently launched the eNaira (a digital currency issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria). I think the government is gradually opening up the economy to the technology.
The people of Nigeria need better living conditions
The people of Nigeria need better living conditions
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit in Nigerian farming
The pilot is aimed to overcome a trust deficit in Nigerian farming
Mutual trust is the key to successful collaborations, development and a better quality of life
Mutual trust is the key to successful collaborations, development and a better quality of life
Some 450,000 farmers will have to work with the TransparenTerra platform from FCE and Synergos. That is a significant number. What do you expect?
Yes, it is a considerable number, and it is achievable. I expect we will work with the different groups and associations in the priority crop value chains in order to reach that number. The rice and corn value chains account for more than half of the proposed number.
What challenges and opportunities do you see?
A major challenge will be the slow adjustment at the beginning of the project. The opportunity lies in government policies and a favorable environment. FAO also supports the initiative.
Who will train all the farmers?
That will be settled in Nigeria once the FCE finalizes the architecture. The project will create a large number of jobs for young Nigerians who will help farmers get acquainted and immerse themselves in digital technologies.
The pilot project includes sustainability tracking through the TransparenTerra platform. Why should Nigerian farmers strive to meet global standards?
You’re right to ask this question. The platform will be self-sustaining because the information will be available in the cloud for all stakeholders. Access to the international market has been a problem, and that is mainly because we are not connected to global best practices. Once we can adopt the new approaches, Nigerian products and products will become more competitive.
Transparency, trust and new technology are the basis for the future development
Transparency, trust and new technology are the basis for the future development
Victor Adejoh believes that the pilot is the first step in the digitization of Nigerian agriculture
Victor Adejoh believes that the pilot is the first step in the digitization of Nigerian agriculture
Synergos Nigeria contributes to a world built on trust, peaceful and regenerative
Synergos Nigeria contributes to a world built on trust, peaceful and regenerative
How long do you think it will take to digitize and improve the Nigerian agricultural sector?
I’m not sure, but there are signs we are on the right track with digital technology.
Why did you decide to start the pilot project in Kaduna State?
Kaduna State has initiated a flagship project that is targeted to increase food production, especially cereals.
Why did you choose a Swiss company for the collaboration, and why FCE Group?
The Swiss collaboration company has the expertise to lead the transformation, and FCE is technology-driven.
What are the prospects for the project, and what are you planning next?
This project has the potential to transform agribusiness in Nigeria. The project will create transparency and trust among agribusiness stakeholders - farmers, seed and fertilizer companies, financial institutions, and the market. The plan is to initiate a pilot project with players in the agricultural value chain and then expand to other locations.
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