Ifeanyi Anazodo is a multitalented individual who has built an illustrious career in Branding, Human Resources, Business Development, Strategy, Information Technology, Research and Digital Media, with over a decade of experience.
In 2008, he co-founded Hybrid Colony, a media collective that specializes in creative content. He moved to Yuuzoo Corporation, a company which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, as Head, Branding & Strategy. He also coordinated the setup of Yuuzoo’s Nigerian office handling staff recruitment, client management, business processes, operations and information flow in collaboration with other Yuuzoo offices around the globe. Currently, he is the Vice President, Products & Data at FarmCrowdy.
Ifeanyi Anazodo spoke about what Farmcrowdy is doing to help Up and Coming Agritech start-ups, the impact of digital Agriculture in today’s Agriculture processes and challenges faced when setting up and how they overcome them.
TGA: What is Farmcrowdy doing to assist up and coming Agritech platforms in terms of data and other technological assistance?
Anazodo: Agriculture is generating a lot of interest right now. More people are aware of the opportunities in the agriculture value chain generally, a lot of people want to get in, farmers want to improve their yields, we get a lot of enquiries from people who are looking up to Farmcrowdy to advise them in this regard, major industrial buyers are looking for more opportunities to bridge that gap.
So, we ourselves play a leading role in creating an enabling environment within the agriculture space and looking at how technology can do that. Currently, our platform helps to get in the funds a farmer needs from start to finish, give them access to market and the sponsors are able to get farm updates.
Also, for the farmers, we currently have technical specialist Apps that we use in managing the inventory. I feel some of these things we are doing will become template and benchmarks on how things are done within the Agritech space. So, we are very aware of the fact that a lot of people look up to us. And looking at Farmcrowdy for top leadership, as far as technology is concerned — I’m sure by 2019 we will be throwing out more products that will help to mentor people within the agriculture space and also create an enabling environment for people to plug into opportunities in Agriculture.
What isthe impact of digital Agriculture in today’s Agriculture processesand how do you think digital agriculture has helped agriculture in general?
Anazodo: It’s a very good question around how digital agriculture is changing the way agriculture is being done generally in the whole value chain. Before now, you literally have to go on a farm and do the work yourself and worry about how to sell. But today, from your mobile phone like, with the Farmcrowdy app, you can farm from your mobile and it is almost like having a farm in your pocket. So, these are some of the things that Digital Agriculture is doing within the Agric space. But beyond that, is also the opportunity for precision agriculture where farmers are able to know the time to plant, able to do soil test faster without delay associated with soil testing.
Digital Agriculture has created endless possibilities across the value chain. So beyond even planting, digital agriculture is doing more in terms of managing postharvest losses and processing generally, making sure that people who buy can be assured of the right quality and the right price generally.
I feel digital agriculture has come to stay, it’s no longer a buzzword. Farmers are now able to make informed decisions around their processes and we are very happy and optimistic about the role technology is playing within the agriculture space.
WhenFarmCrowdystarted, what were the challenges faced in terms of getting data, not having access to weather information and other necessary information that could affect the yield of farm produce and how did you overcome them?
With every technology, it comes with iterating and finetuning whatever you are doing. For us, it was getting people to warm up to what we are doing and really understanding how convenient the whole process was. For a lot of people, it sounded too good to be true. So, for us, we see that consistency and the manner in which these things are communicated to people is very important.
For us, it was gaining people’s trust and helping them appreciate the entire process. I feel over time, people began to warm up to the whole process. But beyond that, it’s also the farmers, opening up technology and smarter ways of doing things, smart farming techniques because initially, a lot of them were sceptical about our intentions and our process but after they began to see the yields and the result. I feel it spoke for itself. For us, it’s been a process of learning and also helping people to understand the role that technology plays and winning that trust over time and in being consistent with whatever we have been doing. We understand that technology is key but technology needs to be accessible and it needs to be in a manner that people can appreciate.
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