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Afreximbank Partners with AUN, Grants $.1m for Rural Agriculture Information System

By William Emmanuel Ukpoju

In a bid to revolutionize agricultural practices in Nigeria, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has awarded a substantial $100,000 grant to the American University of Nigeria (AUN).

The funding is designated to bolster the university’s Agricultural Yawo Uniform Information and Access to Market System (A-YUNIAMS) project, aimed at empowering rural farmers with essential information via mobile technology.

In a joint release signed by Yusuf Mohammed, Senior Director, Communications & Media Relations Unit, AUN, A-YUNIAMS initiative is spearheaded by AUN’s School of Engineering in collaboration with ASBA Synergy and InnoInspire Ltd., and is set to commence in Adamawa State, with plans for nationwide expansion later this year.

By leveraging mobile solutions, the project intends to reach 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 40 million farmers with access to vital farming techniques, financial opportunities, market prices, and real-time weather updates by the end of 2024.

In a letter conveying the offer to AUN, Afreximbank’s Director in charge of African Union, African Continental Free Trade Agreement Relations and Trade Policy, Yusuf Daya said that the Bank recognized the “transformative potential of the A-YUNIAMS project and the impact it could have on the lives of rural farmers by providing them with information on modern, more resilient crop varieties, efficient farming techniques, funding opportunities and market prices that will empower them to improve their overall capacity and crop yield and would make for a more sustainable and profitable living.”

Mr. Daya noted that the mobile solution would help bridge the information gap faced by rural farmers on modern and more resilient crop varieties and efficient farming practices.

He further said it would also build capacity to improve the productivity of rural farmers and help support the growth and expansion of local industries that could feed into the economic diversification.

The Project Manager, Dr. Abubakar Sadiq Hussaini, a specialist in Electrical-Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering and Dean of the School of Engineering at AUN, described the A-YUNIAMS project as a powerful tool, from farm to market, at the fingertips of farmers.

He said that the project would bridge the information gap faced by farmers. “The application will provide farmers with a comprehensive suite of tools, from efficient farming techniques and real-time weather updates to invaluable market insights, empowering them to make informed decisions and to maximize their yields,” he stated.

Dr. Hussaini extended special thanks to Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, and his team for the financial support and pledged the project’s dedication to improving the well-being of rural farmers.

Dr. DeWayne Frazier, President of AUN, expressed gratitude for Afreximbank’s support, emphasizing its timely and generous contribution to the university’s agricultural initiative. He praised Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah for his instrumental role in commissioning the School of Engineering and acknowledged his leadership in academia.

The partnership between Afreximbank and AUN reflects a shared commitment to advancing agricultural practices in Nigeria and fostering economic development in rural communities.

With the support of this grant, AUN’s A-YUNIAMS project is poised to make a meaningful impact on the lives of Nigerian farmers, driving positive change in the country’s agricultural landscape.