Agric-tech coy partners Netherlands bank on agroforestry practices

LR: Mr Uka Eje, CEO ThriveAgric and Ms Marjolijn Hekelaar, Representative, Acorn Rabobank
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By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

ThriveAgric, an agricultural technology company has partnered with Acorn-Rabobank, Netherlands, to empower about 30,000 smallholder farmers towards sustainable agroforestry practices and combating climate change.

The partnership was unveiled on Wednesday in Abuja, at a roundtable organised by ThriveAgric in collaboration with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

The Chief Executive Officer, ThriveAgric, Mr Uka Eje, said the roundtable was focused on discussing sustainable agriculture that impacted the lives of everyone and carbon market development globally.

Eje also said that the project was designed to enable more than 30,000 smallholder farmers with access to carbon credit and general benefits that could impact rural communities.

“Through partnership like the one forged with Acorn – Rabobank, we are confident in our ability to drive positive change and create lasting impact in the lives of smallholder farmers across Nigeria.

“The project aims to leverage the respective expertise and resources to implement innovative solutions that enhance the resilience and productivity of agricultural landscapes while promoting environmental stewardship and social inclusivity.

“The project is expected to spur deliberate actions for effective next level carbon credit and financing beginning from farmers,” he said.

In her remarks, Acorn – Rabobank representative, Ms Marjolijn Hekelaar, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership and its potential to drive transformative change in the agricultural sector.

Hekelaar explained that her organisation works with local partners to help farmers transit to agroforestry by giving them access to the voluntary carbon market.

“We work with companies like ThriveAgric that are implementing agroforestry to plant trees with farmers in the design that works for them. This will make them more resilient to climate change.

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“They build their income by selling the biomass generated from planting trees and selling it at the Voluntary Carbon Market at a higher rate and making sure that 80 per cent goes back to the farmers,” she explained.

Dr Kabir Yusuf, National Project Coordinator, Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, noted that climate change was a phenomenon that affected every category of individuals in the society.

Yusuf said that smallholder farmers needed to be given incentives to enable them engae in climate smart agricultural practices, as well as go into livestock farming, and the practice of climate smart livestock management.

“We need to deploy carbon credit mechanism, incentivisation.

“Lots of countries, including some in Africa have started accessing diverse forms of climate change funds through carbon credits,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria is still at the preliminary stage, in spite of being a signatory to the Paris Agreement of engaging in climate change activities.

He added that the first step towards accessing carbon credit was to have a greenhouse gas inventory which would enable trading of emissions.

Also, Country Director, AGRA, Mr Rufus Idris, said his organisation was working in collaboration with the federal government to enhance affordable and nutritious food productivity in the next ten years.

Idris said that AGRA supports in addressing climate change, as well as increasing farmers support to ensure food security.

The project seeks to enhance carbon sequestration, promote biodiversity, improve soil health, and provide economic benefits to local communities, impacting smallholder farmers across Kaduna, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Jigawa, Niger, Nassarawa, and Kano states.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ThriveAgric is a fast-growing agricultural technology company, passionate about ensuring food security.

The company empowers smallholder farmers, leveraging their technology to access finance, and improve productivity and sales to promote food security. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Deborah Coker/Deji Abdulwahab

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