How technology developed in Fulham is helping farmers in Nigeria

How technology developed in Fulham is helping farmers in Nigeria

Co-Founder and Director of Enrichgeo Technologies, Tonye Khama tells Sarah Dale how his business makes a real difference to people’s lives and why human connection is so important in business and life.

Establishing Enrichgeo Technologies was “a calling” for Tonye Khama. With a background in international law and Russian language, he had worked in contracts management and project management before a lightbulb moment in a conversation with friends led to a new business venture in the field of IT services focusing on Agriculture space.

“I am British Nigerian and that Nigerian background helps me,” said Tonye, who has been a member of West London Chambers of Commerce for a year. “This was a calling; it was meant to be. I always know when something is right, I always listen to my inner voice, and I know my capabilities.” In November 2021, daily conversations started between Tonye and Balaji and two other friends. “January came and we said we have the skillsets and the connections, and we know what we each bring to the table, so why don’t we do this ourselves? It all fit together and that’s how Enrichgeo came about.” Fast forward a year-and-a-half and the global IT services provider has two cofounders with their presence in UK and Nigeria. They offer a range of services both in the UK and internationally.

One of their topmost interesting services is the usage of Geospatial Analysis to support farmers. What Tonye is most proud about is leveraging this technology to analyse agricultural land producing valuable data for farmers. Using coordinates, it can determine the size of the plot of land, humidity, irrigation, soil nutrients, the best produce to grow on the land, even if there is a river running through it. Traditional surveys can take six to seven months, but Tonye adds that Enrichgeo Technologies can do it much quicker taking around two to three weeks depending on the size of the land. He adds that this technology can be used in the field of Construction, Power, and Energy also.

Another major challenge that exists in the field of Agriculture is about the farmers’ real-time data about their farms, crops and their farm input supplies. To counter this challenge, Tonye says that “EnrichGeo has developed a powerful Data Analytics tool to capture farmers’ details in real-time and can be used for business intelligence” They have started working with Nigerian farmers and are in talks with farmers and landowners across the world, particularly in Kenya (tree farming), Oman, Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe to capture their data as well as use to Geospatial technology.

EnrichGeo has partnered with likeminded other IT as well as Agricultural consulting companies to provide a ONE STOP INTEGRATED SOLUTION for the farmers. With these, EnrichGeo has now built the capability of capturing farmers’ details, Geospatial technology to support farmers with the right crops, an e-Commerce platform for the farmer to procure farm input supplies as well as to sell their produce.

“Now it’s time to realise all of it. The next step is to take the data collective tool and put it to work in Nigeria. We have three guys over there who are in their last year at university and have a
background in farming and understand the hard life of a poor Nigerian farmer. We are starting to onboard farmers; the three people who work for us look after 500 farmers. By the end of 2023, we hope to have 20,000 farmers and by 2026, an ambitious target of over a million farmers. That’s why we’re looking at investors so we can grow. Investment gives us the platform to set up properly.”

EnrichGeo is also working to develop other solutions like Logistics tracking and Warehouse management to support the farmers to transport their goods as well as to preserve their produce from getting wasted.

Tonye proudly says “EnrichGeo is approached by international clients for ginger, avocados, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. We are linking the farmers’ produce with these clients and help farmers to sell their product at much better rates and raise their standard of living”

As many farmers in Nigeria cannot afford the data analysis, the company works to secure funding from local authorities in Nigeria and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“What we do makes a massive difference to everyday people. You take a potato grower in Nigeria and help him get his potatoes onto a shelf in UK supermarket. I’m as much British as I am Nigerian. If we can bring the worlds together, it’s a win-win.”

Co-founder Balaji Varadarajan says “The world needs urgent focus on Food security and sustainability. EnrichGeo brings technology to support this and do its part to this society”

Tonye credits his strong, positive relationship with the West London Business Chamber for providing good connections and support

“Joining the Chamber has been very helpful to us” he said. “It’s been very important because it takes a community to make things happen. Take a football game as an example. It is not one good player that wins the game, it has to be collective.

“I have become good friends with Alan [Rides] at the Chamber and my relationship with the Chamber leads to talking to people about future projects.

“There are a lot of good things going on. The challenge is getting the right partners onboard and we are looking at talking to investors; we are in that process. We put all our money into the business so now we are looking at investors to move the company forward, but we are not just looking for people to invest their money, we want them to invest in our vision

“The way connections have emerged is amazing. We are in talks with people in Zimbabwe as a result of a conversation with the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

“Having integrity and being decent is key. We always try to be that way with people. At EnrichGeo, the founders and the employees strongly believe in human relationship, that has more value to us.

The Chamber also put forward Tonye for a Trustee role at The Mulberry Centre. Tonye is working on forging a mutually beneficial relationship between West London Chambers of Commerce and Chambers in Nigeria.

Although Tonye and his wife Alena and their two daughters moved to Grantham in February, he attends regular meetings in London and Nigeria either in person or virtually. He dedicates his success in his life to his wife who has been a massive support to him.

When asked what drives EnrichGeo, “It’s our passion to do something back to the farmers who have been giving so much to this world. We will consider ourselves successful if we have reduced poverty and food waste even by 1% globally” said Tonye

Interested to know more about us? Reach out to Tonye tonye.khama@enrichgeo.com Our website is www.enrichgeo.com

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