The Impact of Technology and Collaboration in One Woman’s Farming Journey
Over the years, Winifred Ifoma Elom, a farmer in Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria, has achieved tremendous success in rice production with the help of modern farming techniques. She started farming one to two hectares of land due to the limitations of manual labor. However, through a partnership with Hello Tractor, a company under the HIFAD umbrella, with support from USAID, she acquired a tractor. Through the USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity, she was connected to Hello Tractor and provided training opportunities. The partnership with USAID and Hello Tractor helped modernize her farming practices, bridging the gap between traditional and mechanized agriculture.
With the introduction of the tractor, Elom expanded her farming operations from two hectares to an impressive 100 hectares of rice fields. Rice production has significantly increased, resulting in a surplus of rice and generating excess income for farmers. The impact on women in the Afikpo community in Ebonyi State has been particularly notable; they can now hire the tractor to ease their work. After supporting their family’s farm work, women can now quickly plant crops on their own farms using the tractor. What used to take them weeks can now be done more efficiently and effectively. The tractor has given women the chance to expand their farms and increase their income.
Elom believes that agriculture is the number one priority of life since food is essential for survival. “The money you seek is in agriculture,” she said. “And running away from it would be a waste of time.”
The demand for tractor services is high, and Elom’s company, Dumure Teketeke Global Ventures, caters to individuals, farm owners, small farmers, cooperatives and nearby villagers. They even serve clients outside their town, extending their reach to other states such as Cross River and Anambra.
“Because the tractor is primarily used during the farming season, there are peak times when the machine is in high demand, such as during land preparation, planting and harvest season,” Elom said.
She notes the need for additional machinery like rice harvesters to ensure timely and efficient harvesting, preventing the loss of mature rice.