By Jeph Ade
Xtralarge Farms, a Nigerian agritech firm is using technology and innovation combo to shift the curves of agriculture in Nigeria.
It is on record that Nigeria imports tons of food every year to halt the country’s low food production and address the daunting threat to food security and economic hardship being experienced by citizens.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reportedly estimates that the country spends $5 billion, an amount that could provide critical infrastructure, on food imports.
Also worrisome is the revelation that $1.5 billion of this huge figure goes to importation of milk and other dairy products.
Food production in the country is constrained by such factors as limited fertile land, , population growth, low development in the agricultural sector, and lack of skills.
Ameliorating the trend has seen the Federal Government recently declare a state of emergency on food security, with N19.2 billion approved for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to cushion the effect of the massive destruction unleashed on farmlands last year by the flooding that ravaged some parts of the country.
Aside the steps taken by the Government, Xtralarge Farms, a private sector-led initiative which has the vision of raising a generation of passionate farmers by creating various agricultural and investment platforms across Nigeria is proving that there is a future in agriculture. This, the company is demonstrating with creative combination of innovation and technology.
The agritech company is changing the country’s uninspiring narratives in agriculture with the application of technology to increase yield, sustainability, and profitability. It is also demonstrating that Nigeria can solve its food crisis with the use of technology and innovation.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Seyi Davids, and Managing Director, Moji Davids said at the company’s Agritech City near the border town of Idi-Iroko recently, that while the vision is: “building a strong “Consumer Base” for food items and also building confidence and encouragement for farmers in return for their hard labour in making good and quality food available to Nigerians,” the mission is:”raising a generation of passionate farmers.”
Dr. Seyi and Dr. (Mrs) Moji Davids further stated that it is the first-of-its-kind in Africa established in line with their vision to “Feed The World” with organic foods that are free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to serve as medicines to nations.
The idea was brought to life 17 years ago but has since spread to 24 countries including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, the UK, France, US, Jordan, Canada, Kazakhstan, and others.
The agritech city also boasts interesting features that showcase farming activities such as animal husbandry, growing of organic crops and herbs, palm plantation, groundnuts, and carrots, and more.
Dr Davids said that the city will be a reference point and a one-stop facility that boasts a standard shopping mall, children’s playing Ground/park, schools and a hi-tech-driven University.
There is also a unique hospital described as foodspital to treat patients with food therapy and not chemical drugs. This, he added, “would have people eat healthy, live healthy, and make money.”
Aside agriculture, the farm/resort also has real estate development with standard multi-purpose structures. It is also into tourism and hospitality but does not want to be seen as a full-blown hotel. However, the uniqueness and allure of its rooms will sure appeal to classy visitors.
What’s more, the agritech city features what it calls Daycation, a service that offers a one-day vacation to the city and entertains clients and their family and friends with a tour of the city to enjoy swimming, sporting activities, horse and camel rides, a great time at the cinemas, dance, games and a sumptuous, mouth-watering lunch. This is in addition to an adventure of the mountain-like waterfall, an empowerment seminar on how to make clean money in tourism, all at an affordable rate.
There is also a Village Square in the city aimed to promote African civilisation, culture and tradition. Visitors can also embark on health holiday where tests can be run on them and they are placed on food therapy without injections or drugs.
The promoters of the agrictech city maintain that the target of visits to the facility is one million. Already, the city currently hosts at least, 1000 visitors weekly. This, the promoters say, is in agreement with their vision of promoting agritourism.
In the city, therefore, the public can access agropharmacy, foodspital, agrotourism, real estate, and much more.