Stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Gombe State have called on smallholder farmers in the state to key into the Storage X Project being introduced in the state, which will enable farmers get value for their produce, instead of selling them off early and at a less market price.
The calls were made by various speakers in Billiri, Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State during the launch of the Storage X The project, where the smallholder farmers were briefed on the importance of storing their goods and selling them off when the price was most favourable.
The Storage X Project was born out of the realisation that farmers face financial challenges during harvest, which make them vulnerable at that time, thereby forcing them to sell off their produce early and at a less valuable price so that they could get the money to finish the rest of the harvest.
Examples abound where this cycle of challenges occur to about 75% of farmers during harvest, year after year.
This situation, according to Kitovu Technical Company, the company setting up Storage X in some parts of Nigeria, prompted them to come up with a solution to the problem,
Now, farmers are provided with postpaid storage access, which grant farmers access to stores for their grains after they are tested for moisture and then weighed before they are stored without any money being paid upfront.
Nwachinemere Emeka is the Chief Executive Officer, Kitovu Technology Company of storage X, who says the grains storage goes through some valuing processes, such as weighing, moisture testing and valuing.
He said the farmer, after his grains are certified as safe, was given an electronic warehouse receipt, which can be used by the farmer to secure a bank loan, which subsequently creates a credit history for the farmers, thereby giving them input financing during the next farming cycle.
Emeka however said services were not conducted by Proxy; hence a farmer is required to bring his or her produce by themselves.
“Storage X provides farmers with postpaid storage access.
So, a farmer simply brings his grains, it’s tested for moisture, graded, weighed and stored.
Then we issue the farmer, what we call an Electronic Warehouse Receipt.
The farmer can then leverage that Electronic Warehouse Receipt to get post-harvest loans.
So, if a farmer stores some grains and it has been valued, he can get part of the money to meet his pressing financial obligations,” said Mr.
The Project Partner, from the Humane Agency Services, Ms.
Beatrice Benjamin Gangkero, said Project X was indeed a programme after her heart because it not only empowered farmers but also tackles juvenile vices in society, such as stealing and selling off parents’ farm produce.
She also says women can get value for their products using the Storage X project because they would be protected from overbearing husbands and delinquent youths in the house.
“If she stores these grains in the warehouse, she will be able to get value for whatever hardship she had on the farm.
So, we want to call on the women to actually key into the project.
I am more particular about the women because they are the ones at the receiving end,” said Ms.
The Gombe State Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr.
Mohammed Magaji Gettado, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr.
Obel Yaji, says it will lessen the burden of farmers selling their goods early and at a price which was of less value than what it should be.
Yaji commended the initiative and encouraged farmers to key into it.
“We have many facilities of this nature spread across the state.
For now, we are giving them for free, but when the programme takes off fully, we need to charge them, but for now, it is free,” said Mr.
Some farmers in Billiri thanked the government and the company for bringing in the grains storing initiative, intending to key into it and encourage others to join.
“We just received some kind of information that is encouraging us seriously.
The plans will encourage us the farmers around this area, most especially those of us who want to do with our time and have plans to help our lives in the future.
We are thinking of how to create awareness to people around to know how to benefit from this programme, because the programme is a very good one and it will help us to at least to get value from our commodity for future use,” said Mr.
“This is a super programme.
We are so excited because with this programme, we are not going to waste our farm products.
We discover that we lost our farm produce because of lack of storage and maybe lack of finances and other issues around us, but with this, I think it’s a great achievement.
I am going to create awareness so that people will continue to bring it.
Most of us didn’t store it, o we had to dispose of it at a cheaper price.
So, this is a great achievement,” said Mr.
Gombe farmers encouraged to adopt Storage X Project