Teenagers Offer Solution to Nigeria’s Agric Value Chain at InterswitchSPAK 2.0

FarmEasy Team Earth

By Adedapo Adesanya

Team Earth, winners of the InterswitchSPAK 2.0 Innovation Challenge, has proffered a plausible solution to problems associated with the agricultural value chain in Nigeria.

The team, made up of nine teenage secondary school students, is is leveraging on mobile technology to address the issue through an application known as FarmEazy. The teenagers said the platform will help farmers connect to potential buyers, bringing people who want to buy farm produce in contact with the farmers on a single platform.

Proposed to be made available as a mobile app for IOS and Android devices, USSD and SMS for non-internet enabled phones, FarmEazy will cater for three sections: Farmers, buyers and investors where the parties can interact and carry out transactions.

According to the team, to get on the platform, all farmers simply need to do is create a bank account for their eWallet. Registered farmers will be granted access to all features available on the platform, including newsfeeds and updates.

On the part of the buyers, they will sign up on the platform and can select and pay using the Quickteller paypoint eWallet or USSD, while for investors who sign up, they will be required to indicate an investment option they would be interested in and also indicate the kind of services they would render.

Grouped into nine teams, the InterswitchSPAK finalists were tasked with developing solutions to three salient socio-economic issues. These issues were in the areas of Agriculture, Electoral process and Financial inclusion. The students proffered brilliant solutions to their given tasks by leveraging technology. Each team was led by Interswitch staff who volunteered as mentors.

Winners of the challenge, Team Earth, made up of nine SS2 students, were mentored by Paul Otu and Tolulope Adesokan and Opeyemi Adekugbe who are members of staff at Interswitch. The team’s Agricultural solution, FarmEazy, is a platform expected to help the farmers connect.

The winners were selected by an eminent jury panel made up of Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Transaction Processing & Enablement, Interswitch Group; Folasade Femi-Lawal, Head, Cards & Messaging Business, FirstBank, and Ifeoma Onibuje, Divisional Head, Electronic banking, Fidelity Bank.

Ideas and presentation were the two major criteria used in deciding the winners. For ideas, the Jury considered Team Earth’s presentation to be simple, disruptive and cost effective. They also thought the solution was out of the box and relevant in today’s world. For presentation, the Jury considered the delivery, creativity and the demonstration of teamwork.

Commenting on the competition, Ms Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Interswitch, said, “The quality of the ideas and level of creativity demonstrated during the presentations gives credence to the assertion that Nigeria is filled with truly brilliant students.

“With access to the right tools and technology they can produce solutions that would address practical everyday problems in Nigeria. While this is a worthwhile experience for the students, it may be the start of a digital revolution in Nigeria.”

Following their announcement as the Innovation Challenge winner, Team Earth will receive the InterswitchSPAK 2.0 Founder’s Award at the Grand Finale in the coming weeks.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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