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likefood.com

likefood.com, AI insurance software, helps farmers co-op applies, validates & claim, unlocks agribusiness possibilities in Nigeria via P2P.

Photo of Christiana Inwang
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

RISWEM MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Farmer Co-op or Farmer Business Organization

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Calabar

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Nigeria

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Cross River State, Nigeria

What country is your selected Place located in?

Nigeria Southern Region

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

My name is Christiana Inwang, a wife, mother, volunteer & businesswoman & I’m part of Cross River State’s Bekwara community. I hold a B.Sc. in Sociology and a diploma in Social Work both from the University of Calabar, a PGDE in Educational Management from ESUT.

I grew up admiring the richness of the mangrove-rainforest, which provides a major stay for our people in Cross River State, only to see majority of it decimated by the early 1990s & still ongoing. I’ve a passion to protect CR-Rain-forest, through the Community Base Tourism Initiative of the State Government since 2004. In 2007, I founded the RISWEM CO-OP for the mobilizing and training of women on CBTi.

CRS is tagged a miniature Nigeria, because of its natural diversity, ranging from her temperate climate, rivers, culture, cuisine, mangrove-forest, mountains, history, tourism, agriculture, carnivals etc., an embodiment of the entirety of the Nigeria Nations deposits in 1-state, we are indeed 2nd to none.

Our rainforest is the last remaining in Nigeria, home to 2,400 native forest communities comprising 1.5 million people, the highest primate diversity on the planet including the world’s most endangered gorillas, an estimated 20% of the world’s butterfly species & excessive& unchecked illegal logging & hunting for bushmeat in the region not only threatens to decimate the forest’s magnificent hardwoods, animals, endangers the livelihoods of forest communities. 

My passion to create something big, yet grassroots prone, something of value, uncommon, yet very universal to touching the lives of the indigenous people of our land made me unrelenting and hopeful.

We know that “POVERTY CAN LEAD TO ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION,” “LIKEWISE A DEGRADED ENVIRONMENT CAN AGGRAVATE POVERTY, thus the need to reinvent the food system, deploying farmers cooperatives, aligned with fintech to boost farmers growth and participation.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.


Like any other community, Cross River State has transitioned through various eras that have today shaped us into the people we are. Created on May 27, 1967 from the former Eastern Region, Nigeria by the General Yakubu Gowon regime, it’s name was changed to Cross River State in the 1976 state creation exercise by the then General Murtala Mohammed regime from South Eastern State.

Cross River is coastal state in Southern Nigeria, &occupies 20,156sq kms. It shares boundaries with Benue State to the north, Ebonyi & Abia States to the west, east by Cameroon Republic & south by Akwa-Ibom & Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Calabar, and its name is derived from the Cross River – Oyono, which passes through the state. The State has 18-Local Government Areas spread across 3-Senatorial District.

Like Nigeria we’re multi-ethnicity, multilingualism such as Efik, Ejagham, Yakurr, Bette, Yala, Igede, Ukelle & Bekwarra etc. There are 4 major languages spoken in the state: French, Efik, Bekwarra & Ejagham. Efik is very widely spoken in CRS because it used to be a language of trade & commerce in the 19th & early 20th centuries. Other languages spoken are Ekoi, Etung, Boki and Becheve. The Becheve people have linguistic affinity with the Tiv of Benue State. The people's wood carving, stone sculpture, raffia and cane works, pottery and silver works are highly valued in and outside Nigeria.

Our occupation is fishing in the south, hunting in the central & farming in the north, this is our identity, but like any other community, we’ve had our share of challenges; the state had the largest tropical rainforest area in Nigeria & has always been one of the biggest producers of export crops & bushmeat in the country. The main crops are cucumber, pineapple, cassava, yams, rice, plantain, banana, cocoyam, maize, cocoa, rubber, groundnut and palm produce and deposits of Mineral resources

Major annual festivals include; Christmas Festival, Carnival Float, Yakurr Leboku Yam festival  &Calabar Boat Regata.

Additionally, the present Bakassi LG in Cross River State that was ceded to Cameroon has several other communities located along the coastal lines of the Peninsular of over 1,600km land boundary near Calabar, the capital of CRS & Rio del Ray estuary in Cameroon. The fishing culture has been snatched away & today this shift had displaced our people, thus this skill-gap needs to be replaced to enable them be properly resettled.

As a State our aspirations as a people is to create a unique and enviable status as second to non known as destination Cross River channeling our acquired and inherent skills in building our land through sustainable Agriculture, tourism and industrialization.

Thus we strongly believe that reinventing the food system via co-operative systems will close existing gaps, change the lives of Cross Riverian & bring a new hope & future for today’s people. 

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

20156

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

4388000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

The Cross River Rainforest of South Eastern Nigeria is one of Africa’s last remaining areas of pristine tropical high forest, extremely rich in a wide variety of flora and fauna species, and is among the twenty five biodiversity hotspots in the world. The forest has important biophysical properties which affect local, regional and global environmental quality. Using a combination of document research, GIS report, field observations, interviews and focus group discussions, the study reveals that the ecological integrity of this forest is being seriously threatened by a myriad of human activities, such as unsustainable agricultural practices, illegal logging, population explosion/expansion of human settlements, increase demand for food, scarcity of water, for instance the Agbokim Waterfalls is made up of seven streams which display a breathtaking cascade of fresh water plunging down the high cliff into the beautiful tropical rainforest, is now a seasonal-irregular-trickle, construction of highways, new-cities, mining activities, and high unemployment/pressure on natural resources. Are factors impacting heavily on the depletion and extinction of valuable flora and fauna species in the region.

Current farming system are associated with use of heavy chemical for improves yield, bush burring for rabbits hunts, recent trends in quick-service restaurants [fast-food] across the metropolis is impeding on healthy living-style.

Rigorous research-based innovative farming, forestry and biodiversity policies and programs, forest restoration initiatives, community-based forest management, and sustainable land use practices have been recommended to save the Cross River Rainforest, Rivers & mountains from total destruction, but it seem we are on the backsliding windmill.

The ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun through the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2002 that has grossly affected the Bakassi people has contributed to economic downturn as the revierian community known for their fishing skills need to learn to grow fish, shrimps, crayfish, periwinkle, crabs etc. sustainably using  aquaponically.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Agricultural value chains encompass the flow of product, knowledge, info between smallholder’s farmers & consumers. Likefood.com offers opportunity for value addition at each stage of the production, marketing & consumption process sustainably. Our SHFs need to better engage with value chain for improved livelihood, whilst reducing risks, increasing their resilience & strengthening the food system.

Our technology is designed with AI insurance functionality to help farmers apply, validates & claim insurance, unlocking agribusiness value chain possibilities in Nigeria via peer-2-peer, & makes farmers' risks insurable, by providing crop insurance to protect against lost of yield in extreme climatic variability.

OUR MODEL:

We deploy automation, by applying image & text recognition algorithms; these become valuable assets that tell an insightful story about our user. If files are digitalized, analyzed, stored in a cloud, information can automatically be reviewed to help SHF increase their bargaining power, enter into high-value supply chain, provide support for acquiring information on market prices & requirements.

Co-op, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network enables us group SHFs by catchment areas for insurance cover & support. The model entails that the network of people agrees to cover similar risks by creating a single finance pool consisting of their premium shares & bypassing traditional intermediaries insurance companies, we deploy IoTs via our “smart-manager agent app,” a user can capture & send the vehicle image & claims submitted on-the-go.

At the end of each coverage period, which is calculated by “each farming circle” available savings are refunded. This way, farmers minimize their costs & mitigate claim conflicts & possibly scale their enterprises.

New technologies enable us to distribute our services efficiently &maximize our users' benefits from being an insured-farmers & investment opportunities for a previously uninsurable risk


INSURABLE RISK:

We turn uncertain, unmeasurable risks into attractive investment products

Source data & build models to add value

Limit downside risk

We focus on feeding the future via innovative transformative thinking, deploy tomorrow’s tech in reimagining smallholder’s farmer for Africa.


PARTNERSHIP:

Co-operatives

MFI (Microfinance Institution)

Bank │ Fund Manager

NGO

Government Program

Agri Business (Fertilizer, Tractor, Seed or Input Dealer)

International Food & Beverages Company

Cross River State Basin Development Authority

Investors


OUT COME:

Increase food security

Validate a network of viable farmers’ co-op across Africa in one platform

SHFs gain access to credit & tech-support

Invest in their most productive crops

Pay bills & feed their families and live without fear of the future


INVESTORS:

We create investment opportunities for a previously uninsurable risk

Turn uncertain, unmeasurable risk into attractive investment products

Source data& build models to create transparency& limit downside risk.


High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

I see a future where smallholder’s farmers in Africa will undergo an economic revolution and our people will think reinvention; towards a better use of their environment, perfect their skills as corporate farmers, fishermen, hunters in the quest for recreating their own wealth.  

Likefood.com programs will support smallholders farmers via CO-OP insure against shocks to effectively play an important “safety net” role, where a community of smallholder farmers will be able to receive adequate pay for their work to produce nutritious food sustainably.

They will, WILL the future of integrated approaches to empowerment, in partnership with governments & private sector. Our farmers will tap into national futures markets & local spot markets. Via corporate synergies, our farmers will work with super-marts & other businesses. As a result, farmer’s incomes will increase, PLUS their negotiation power & leadership skills. Importantly, farmers will build strong economic insight, own bank accounts, receive payments digitally on the go & enjoy the benefits of digital price transparency.

Our people will recreate for sustainability & losing of large share of the value of their produce to local traders & sometimes waited months for payment will be in the past.

Clearly, further innovations are required to strengthen this crucial risk-reduction role, with flexible financial services catering to different types of farmers to sustain a food system for posterity, where the ultra-poor& seasonal-poor would be reached.

 

OUTCOME:

Increase food security

Validate network of viable farmers’ CO-OP across Africa in one platform.

Access to credit& tech-support for their farm

Invest in their most productive crops

Pay bills,feed their families & live without fear of the future


INVESTORS:

We create investment opportunities for a previously uninsurable risk

Turn uncertain, unmeasurable risk into attractive investment products

Source data& build models to create transparency& limit downside risk.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?


Agricultural sector contribute to gross domestic product (GDP), with very high potentials for population growth management via employed in the agriculture sector.

Likefood.com Vision 2050 aims to make Cross River State the best agronomical station in Nigeria and AU, thus signaling a need for African countries to refocus their attention on the agricultural sector.

The need to reinvest in agriculture to reverse degradation trends is now. This reinvestment holds a number of opportunities, not only for increased food security and the improvement of livelihoods, but also for economic growth and private sector development. With an insured enterprise we are able to introduce farm-tech such as “off grid Mini Solar powered LED light for domesticating vertical farming” via farmers CO-OP thus reinvesting in lad management.

Connects farmer’s Co-op with sponsors who invest in farm value-chain to scale and empower local farmers by hiring more agriculture technology experts to impart knowledge to ensure best practice in farming methods at community level with primary focus on agronomy, whilst allowing normal individuals venture into farming as minority shareholder without physically venturing into the farm.

Our VISION refocuses on agriculture that works to meet domestic demands with high-impact significant for Africa’s food security, whilst driving integrations for commercial agriculture which also holds high potential and offers significant returns on investment in Africa in a way that can also improve livelihood.

Our goal is to reduce foreign dependence on food imports and lowering domestic food prices, it could also create important opportunities for tackling unemployment and increasing household incomes.

We’ll, WILL the future of integrated approaches to empowerment, in partnership with governments as well as the private sector. Our farmers will tap into national futures markets as well as local spot markets. Through corporate synergies, our farmers will work with super-marts, and other businesses. As a result, farmer’s incomes will increase, as are their negotiation power and leadership skills. Importantly, farmers will build strong economic insight, own bank accounts and receive payments digitally on the go, and enjoy the benefits of digital price transparency.

Our people will recreate for sustainability and losing of large share of the value of their produce to local traders and sometimes waited months for payment will be in the past. Farmers market will provide hybrid organic farm produce for the local and international community.

Our model is designed to create a shift towards a more commercial and market-oriented agriculture to also serve to raise the prestige of the sector, making it more attractive for young people searching for employment and the State government has an important role to play in encouraging agricultural production through quality infrastructure to transport goods, secure property rights backed by a rule of law that instills confidence in settling land claims and disputes and reliable power supply to rural areas, may prove more helpful.

Africa has the potential to develop a strong comparative advantage in agriculture through the shift from subsistence to commercial agriculture. It could have significant positive consequences on domestic food security and job creation, helping African countries to reverse decades of trade deficit and (youth) unemployment. Furthermore, agriculture holds significant business and investment opportunities. While greater attention is being given to agriculture by Governments and donors, there is relatively little competition for large-scale agriculture and farming supportive systems on the continent but significant demand. In this situation, high return on investments are possible and the opportunities for development and improved livelihoods significant. Governments, working with the private sector, are in a position to provide the necessary support, whether it be direct or indirect, to ensure that the conditions for success are fertile and capitalised on.

Thus:

OUT COME:

Increase food security

Validate a network of viable farmers’ co-op across Africa in one platform

 Smallholder farmers gain access to credit & tech-support for their farm

Invest in their most productive crops

Pay bills & feed their families and live without fear of the future

 

FOR INVESTORS

We create investment opportunities for a previously uninsurable risk

Turn uncertain, unmeasurable risk into attractive investment products

Source data& build models to create transparency& limit downside risk.

Cross River is indeed blessed with plenty natural resources, I believe that in a strong and safe union, knowledgeable and innovative Cross Riverians will jointly build a competitive and resilient economy. We will strive as a cohesive society bonded by our identity and enjoy the highest standards of living within nurturing and sustainable systems.

Cross Riverians will then be enabled to take charge of their path through life with the confidence to map out a productive and fulfilling future for themselves and their nation.

Cross Riverians would have succeeded in positioning ourselves in the global map to benefits from a sustainable and diversified economy, flexible in adopting new economy models and capitalizing in global economic partnerships to guarantee long-term prosperity for current and future generations of Cross Riverians.

We will rewrite our narrative, move away from the statuesque, see through the gaps and work as a team to tie the knot to every point and continue to grow our GDP, descent work for many,

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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