Relief for grain smallholder farmers as West African Unicorn expands its operations to the East Africa region

No Comments

Adeoluwa Micheal Adeshola, the Managing Director and CEO Arzikin Noma, during the launch of their operations in Uasin Gishu County. Photo Credit: Arzikin Noma
By Murimi Gitari, October 18, 2023, A West African agribusiness company, which serves as a vital link connecting dedicated farmers with discerning off-takers, offering fair and reliable grain aggregation and supply services, specializing in maize, sorghum, millet, soybean, rice, and sesame, has expanded its operation to East Africa, beginning with Kenya.

Arzikin Noma, (which means “wealth of Agriculture” in the Hausa language), also provides farmers with essential inputs, including seeds, fertilizers, and extension support, to cultivate top-tier grains, through input credit.

With an unwavering focus on quality and ethical practices, the agribusiness company is dedicated to driving excellence in agriculture while fostering partnerships that benefit all stakeholders.

In an interview with PanAfrican Agriculture, Adeoluwa Micheal Adeshola, the company’s Managing Director and CEO, notes that many smallholder farmers are faced with many challenges that include price exploitation by brokers, lack of quality seeds and other agricultural inputs for production.

“It is for this reason, that we come in as an aggregator and offer everything that is required for grain production to these farmers and walk through the production journey with them till harvest. We partner with agri-input companies and provide farm inputs to the farmers and after harvesting, we then buy the produce from them and sell it to large off-takers,” Adeshola explains.

The company works with smallholder farmers organized into groups, clusters, or cooperatives. They sign a memorandum of understanding or contract farming agreements for market guarantee.

The farmers are then supplied with farm inputs at the beginning of every planting season. They are also offered extension services contracted by the company from planting all the way to harvesting. This is to ensure their farming is productive, quality grains, and consistent supply to the market.

“We provide the farmers with the right seeds, the right fertilizer, and the right crop nutrition products, then guide them accordingly for quality and safe production of the grains.” Susan Wabocha, who is stewarding Arzikin Noma’s expansion in Kenya and into the region.

The company has been working for over three decades now in Nigeria and neighbouring countries in the West African region and now intends to replicate its success in these countries in the East African region.

They have managed to work with over 350,000 smallholder farmers so far in the northern states of Nigeria with a vision of working with over 1,000,000 smallholder farmers in Africa by the year 2030.

“Our aim is to get these farmers to be self-sufficient and get them from the bottom of the pyramid and from poverty through better farm production and productivity. Once we uptake the grains from the farmers, they receive their payment within 24 hours through mobile money,” Adeshola explains.

Before engaging the farmers, the company maps the farmers’ fields to determine the type of fields and type of crops they need to plant, and other aspects required for production so as to ensure there is good output from the production.

“Working in partnership with agro-input manufacturers and distributors, we provide farmers with essential inputs, including seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals through input financing.”

With this, they are able to enter into agreements with the farmers and guarantee them premium markets for their produce or grains and also ensure there is no adulteration of input the farmers are getting for their farms. They are also helped in acquiring knowledge on the type of inputs they require for their farms and getting the soils from their fields tested for acidity.

Once the farmers harvest the grains, Arzikin Noma then conducts simple processing of the grains for cleaning and sorting to ensure they meet the required standards for the market and are safe for use. The company’s extensive network then connects it with off-takers such as food processors, manufacturers, and exporters to whom they supply top-tier grains tailored to their unique requirements.

The company buys the grains directly from the farmers at fair prices, guaranteeing a reliable market for their produce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

IFAD strengthens its investments in Morocco with a new €87 million agreement
First regional meeting to drive Common African Agro-Parks vision: Working together to unlock Africa’s agricultural potential
You might also like