Lawrence AFERE

Name of the Organisation: Springboard

Type of Organisation: Enterprise

Country: Nigeria

Location: Akure

Creation date: 2008

Number of employees: 21

Turnover in 2017: 91 500€

Products/Services: Production of plantain, coconuts and cashew nuts & training of youths and women to agricultural jobs

Market (local, national, international):Nigeria, Europe & Singapore

Types of clients: Farmers needing seeds & youths and women wanting to become farmers

Partners:Organic Planet, Nigeria, Network of Organic Agriculture Practioners of Nigeria, Federal College of Agriculture, Nigeria, Mitsubishi Fund for Europe and Africa, CEWAS, Switzerland, WeAreMad Initiative Nigeria, LifeSEEDS Nigeria, US Embassy Lagos Nigeria.

Innovation

Lawrence Afere has created a sustainable method to feed Nigeria’s increasing population with farm crops that do not rely on toxic chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, or practices that degrade soil, water or other natural resources. He is reversing the trend of indiscriminate use of chemicals to grow food crops for human consumption by demonstrating alternative and healthier ways of growing a variety of plants and sustaining the biodiversity which will foster the development and maintenance of healthy ecosystems.  His system is unique in its intention to be inclusive and address all social and economic strata, both to the poorest of the poor, as well as to the wealthier farmers.

Lawrence started a movement of young people, positioning them to revolutionize the agricultural sector while giving them the relevant tools which will enable them add value to organic crops and in the process create economic value for themselves. Through this medium, Lawrence is reversing the rural-urban drift, forming village enterprises and bringing economic development to rural areas.

Strategy

  • Production and commercialization of organic cocoa, palm, cashew saplings, fries, and plantain with a special focus on quality
  • Training of women on the business aspect of farming & allowance of loans to start projects
  • Promotion of career opportunities in agriculture to youths in high school & training to agricultural practices
  • Distribution of unused land to farmers needing training and space to start their projects
  • Creation of a weekly market specifically for organic products in collaboration with higher institutions, which complement campaigns addressed to the broader public.

Social Impact

  • Training of + 500 females with Rural women program has trained over
  • Participation of + 2000 students with Farm to School program
  • Help for + 300 farmers in 6 states of Nigeria with Cluster Farm Program
  • Creation of opportunities for farmers to improve their productivity, the quality of the products and therefore fights malnutrition in Nigeria.
  • Free training for the beneficiaries

Challenges

  • Irregular production of plantain. The quantities in the dry season are limited, which therefore impacts the organization’s revenues.
  • Limited access to partners and therefore funds to scale up the programs carried out by springboard.
  • Lack of equipment to scale production of the plantain chips

Objectives

  • Train over 1,000 000 young people and encourage cooperation between them to produce locally, improve quality and reduce imports.
  • Fight malnutrition because “If we look at food, it is your health, it enhances your dignity. We eat to live, not only to be full but to develop ourselves”