Plaasio-CAPD (Centre for Agriculture and Policy Development (CAPD) have announced a partnership to benefit Agriculture in Sierra Leone and beyond.
what is CAPD?
CAPD is a non-profit educational research think-tank. It operates and advocates exclusively for free-market economics, agricultural educational, decentralization, individual liberty, research, policies, poverty alleviation, and entrepreneurship. Operating in Sierra Leone , CAPD targets youth, students, entrepreneurs and policy makers especially in the agriculture sector.
The company has undertaken various activities such as:
- Sensitizing youth about the importance of agriculture
- Offering young farmers a voice to express their opinions about the state of agriculture and how to make it better
- Advocacy for free land for farmers to undertake farming activities
- Increasing awareness on the importance of agriculture and its contribution to our well being
- Contributing and nurturing a love for agriculture
- Creating more interest in the intelligent choice of agriculture occupation
Making farming ‘cool again’
CAPD has undertaken surveys and found out that young people have abandoned farming and left rural areas to go to towns to look for other forms of employment. In a study conducted in Koya Chiefdom, Sierra Leone, some of the reasons for losing interest in farming are:
- The laborious nature of current agriculture is not attractive to young people.
- Farmers in the area also say that Government and NGOs have done little to address the situation.
- Current agriculture is laborious and involves tools like cutlass, hoe, shovel, pick-axe in order to do the work. There is no joy in doing work with such tools because they bring a lot of body strain and young people would rather do other things.
- More than 40% of the population relies on agriculture-related activities as a means of income. However
- Therefore agriculture has a negative image around it. It is tiresome and not ‘cool’. There are low chances of career advancement or generating meaningful income from agriculture that involves crude farm tools.
These aspects prevent young people from pursuing any opportunities in the field.
CAPD establishes a platform for young people sharing common vision towards improving agricultural development and connects them by providing a voice to make change within the younger generation.
The Plaasio-CAPD partnership fits into the overall mission of both companies to change perceptions about agriculture in Africa, improve farming methods, supply chain process and ultimately make agriculture more lucrative sector. Plaasio believes that there is no need to invent anything new but leverage on existing technologies. Plaasio founder, Alakanani Itireleng says
‘We need to realize the productive potential of different farmers by offering them with ways in which they can advertise their produce, reliable pesticides and fertilizers suppliers, ways to sell their produce profitably’.
Plaasio-CAPD believes that technologies such as blockchain technology offer important component for helping farmers in tracking important animal data such as births, breed, feeding partners, vaccinations etc. Smart contracts can also help in proper record keeping of this data in a manner that is not to be manipulated thereby facilitating easier selling process. Real-time data capture by RFID enables easier monitoring of crops and taking real-time action whenever needed.
The good thing is that these technologies already exist and it’s just matter of incorporating them into the field. This would easily solve some of the problems identified by CAPD and ‘make farming cool again’. Creating awareness about these opportunities is the first step for Plaas and then launching a platform later in the year. Plaas intends to make the platform that is reflective of the situation on the ground.
Plaasio-CAPD partnership will, therefore, accelerate this mission and help not just create awareness but provide solutions for farmers one country at a time and throughout Africa.