How did Alosfarm get its inspiration to keep Nigeria’s agri-products fresh while in transit?
In mid-2014, the price of oil in Nigeria was tumbling. This collapse ushered in a wave of economic crisis for oil-reliant countries like Nigeria. Two years after this downturn, Nigeria’s government banned the importation of food – a move to boost local agricultural production. Prices of foodstuffs hiked in local markets and agriculture became the best new alternative to increase food production in the country.
However, as many people raced into agriculture, lots of local farmers struggled to sell their produce. They either sold in a local market or transported their goods to another town by road which consequently leads to spoilage (especially perishable goods). This led to a reduction in the number of goods that eventually arrived the market.
Failing once to solve food problems
Stephen Oloh opened his farm in 2014 to assist the government increase food production. However, he wasn’t making much of a profit. Perishable products in transit spoiled, coupled with having a limited number of buyers. Three years later, following the ban on food importation, he decided to start Alosfarm in December 2017.
Alosfarm is a Nigeria-based agribusiness startup that helps to connect small-scale farmers to buyers. It helps farmers distribute their products and trains them in the use of modern farming methods to increase food production.
Alosfarm promises to solve Africa’s growing food problem
Through its online platform, Alosfarm aims to give Africa’s agribusiness sector a new look. What is more, it aims to change how the continent produces, distributes and consumes food. To realize this goal, it has taken Nigeria as its first step.
The 12th Sustainable Development Goal calls for the world to cut food waste in half by 2030. The United Nations hopes that if the world meets this goal, the standard of living will improve, and there will be less hungry people on the planet. However, meeting this ambitious goal will require a smart strategy considering 1.3 trillion kilograms of food is wasted around the world yearly.
In Africa, close to 50% of food produced is wasted. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the amount of food wasted on the continent is enough to feed 300 million people. The statistics of food production compared to hunger suggests that Africa actually produces more than enough to feed itself.
With this in mind, Alosfarm will use their smart mechanism to reduce the massive food wastage that looms the continent.
According to Stephen, “Alosfarm is passionate about empowering smallholder farmers together by eliminating exploitative buying from the value chain and ensuring smallholder farmers sell and earn more with us; while also optimizing the huge wastage of food in the chain from farm to the table through our smart mechanisms to ensure sustainable food security.”
Making money for its strides and growing a base
The self-funded startup runs a commission-based system, as it charges a certain percentage on all produce sold through its platform.
Alosfarm is not just concerned with helping farmers, but also, consumers of the products by offering fresher goods. To achieve this goal, the firm has embarked on using technology to preserve perishable goods, thereby increasing the lifespan of produce in transit, which will reduce the spoilage, thus helping to tackle the challenge of a staggering 40% of Nigerians that still go hungry daily.
Alosfarm currently serves the Nigerian market but is presently sourcing for investors to help it scale to other African countries in the nearest future.
Though still in its early stage, Alosfarm claims to already have an array of partnerships with local farmers and consumers. Its use of a scientific process for product preservation inspires confidence that the challenge of spoilage and unhealthy foods delivered to markets will soon be a thing of the past.