Auric Panache: Activating Cluster Farming To Combat Food Insecurity in Nigeria  

Across Nigeria, millions of people have been struggling to feed themselves as conflict, political instability, and climate change continue to directly impact what people can — and can’t — put on their plates. Nowhere is this more acutely felt than in northern Nigeria, where the cruel one-two punch of desertification and catastrophic flooding has decimated crop production and limited grazing land for livestock. According to the World Food Program, 4.4 million people will require food assistance in this region in 2024, and 1 million will face acute hunger.

It’s a massive problem that Auric Panache, a Nigerian agricultural technological company, is well aware of. They are directly assisting farmers in combating food insecurity linked to low agricultural productivity. According to Auric Panache, farmers in Nigeria typically produce much less per hectare than farmers in other regions of the world, due to poor access to inputs, inadequate extension services, and traditional farming practices that are ineffective in the face of extreme climate change. Their solution? Empowering farmers through cluster farming and smart agriculture technology.

Cluster farming has already been utilized in certain states in Nigeria to positive effect. It’s a form of agricultural production that brings together smallholder farmers to share resources and knowledge that might otherwise be siloed. The emphasis is on community: by diversifying production, sharing resources, and providing farmers with tools and knowledge that they would not be able to access on their own, it can help to reduce the risk of crop failure. For example, cluster farming can be used to promote sustainable land management practices, such as crop rotation and cover cropping; these solutions can help improve soil health and reduce soil erosion. By sharing resources and knowledge, farmers ensure that there is a collective solution to their productivity issues, not just a personal one — and this in turn can promote better community harmony and survival.

photo provided by Auric Panache

Smart agriculture technologies are data-driven technologies that can help farmers improve their productivity and resilience to climate change by providing them with data and insights that they can use to make better decisions about their farming operations. For example, these technologies can help farmers to optimize their use of water and fertilizer, and to identify and respond to pests and diseases early. Coupled together, cluster farming and smart agriculture technologies can collectively increase agricultural production. According to the FAO, cluster farming alone increases agricultural production by up to 30%, while a World Bank study found that smart agriculture technologies can help farmers to increase their yields by 10-20%.

Cluster farming has already been successfully adopted in Ethiopia and Kenya, while within Nigeria, there are several organizations developing and implementing smart tech solutions for farmers. But according to Auric Panache, they are the only organization taking a holistic approach to combating food insecurity in northern Nigeria by bringing together these two solutions. Led by a team of experts with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the region, they are engaged with a variety of stakeholders, including farmers, local NGOs, and various government agencies.

Learn more about Auric Panache.

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