This agritech startup is digitizing operations for Nigerian farmers in Port Harcourt

0
467

Structurally, CAD Digital Consulting is a three-pronged system consisting of software as a service (SaaS), the consulting division and a business incubator. These systems interplay in advancing the concept of a digital farm.
“There’s a dynamic to farming. For it to be profitable, it has to be run like a proper business. The best way to ensure profitability is by going the digital farming route,” Wale explains.

For every agricultural production, there are standard business processes to follow. But the digital farm model, according to Wale, is what makes production optimal. In poultry farming, for example, the poultry management system — which automates egg production — is a use case for digital farming.

The system keeps a detailed daily record of areas like feed consumption (by pen, cage or racks), mortality rate, feed conversion ratio, bird productivity/efficiency etc. It also comes with a trade figure designed to shore up the business side of the operations; like managing payroll, accounting and HR.

A digital farm comes with many advantages because the emphasis is on data. The data captured enables the farmer to make informed decisions in real time.

A digital farm comes with the need to be digitally literate. Considering that the questions hanging around digital literacy in Nigeria largely affects farmers, there is a doubt concerning the business model of CAD Digital Consulting.
The entire operation of CAD Digital Consulting is structured around three models, one of them involves selling the agritech
software to farmers. So aside from the initial uncertainty around digital literacy of farmers, there is a fear of affordability of the software solution.
“We just don’t sell software,” Wale motions, “We now do a lot of training and consultancy as well as incubation. We recently had a training with some rural poultry farmers on the various international standards and particularly how to use the service. Sometimes we take the pain to visit farms.”
CAD Digital Consulting also maintains a quail farm under the umbrella of CAD Digital farm from which it generates a bulk of its revenue, in addition to money generated from incubation services.

READ  Kenya's UTU Technologies receives $250,000 to bring trust in the sharing economy

Obviously, CAD Digital Consulting sees involvement in the entire ecosystem of its operation as a necessity. This way, it might be able to drive down the cost of a particular service while making up for it elsewhere along the value chain.
That it also has its own farm, where it first tests out the solution before deploying it to clients, is another indicator. Regardless, one of the ways to know a credible business is if it can stand the test of time. CAD Consulting has been in existence for 18 years and seems adequately equipped for the challenges.
But by trying to solve this problem at scale using digital means, CAD Digital Consulting is looking to be a leader in the Nigerian agricultural technology space.