Over the years, Tingo Mobile Plc has maintained and unyielding commitment to supporting the Nigerian farming community. Doing this primarily through its unique device-as-a-service model, putting mobile devices in the hands of rural farmers which provides them access to Nwassa, its dedicated online Agri-Marketplace platform that digitally connects every player in the agricultural value chain, as well as its mobile wallet and payment system, TingoPay.
Wholly owned by Nevada, USA incorporated Tingo, Inc. (OTC: QB IWEB), Tingo Mobile is taking the support even further as it is set to launch a ₦2.5 billion fund which will be awarded in grants primarily to female farmers as well inspiring new leaders who are playing a key role in positioning the Nigeria towards greatness. Tingo believes that supporting the next generation of leaders is vital in helping Nigeria reach its true global potential.
Tingo Mobile believes the grant is of the utmost importance because farmers make up 66% of Nigeria’s workforce, and innovations in farming have the biggest potential to rapidly increase Nigeria’s economic growth and improve the standard of living for great swathes of people.
At the Exquisite Ladies of the Year (ELOY) Awards held in Lagos on November 26, 2021 Tingo Mobile awarded its first grant of ₦600,000 grant to Etimbuk Imuk of Eti Farms Global.
Commenting on the award, Alao Ayo, Chief Operating Officer of Tingo Mobile Plc, affirmed that the company would continue to support male and female Nigerian farmers with grants to help them grow their farms, improve their crop and yield quality and lift their income. This is expected to be done periodically in partnership with other leading brands in the country.
Tingo supports Nigerian farmers because of the extremely high quality of Nigeria’s fresh food and the important role it plays in building such a physically strong and resilient population.
Sharing his experience with Nigerian food, Dozy Mmobuosi, Tingo, Inc. and Tingo International Holdings, Inc. CEO, said, “I derive so much health, power and enjoyment from Nigerian food that I have it shipped to me wherever I am in the world. It costs extra, but it’s worth it. Eating Nigerian food saved me when I contracted COVID.”
“As the creators of Nwassa, Africa’s largest Agri-Marketplace platform, we at Tingo have analysed the data about what Nigerians are eating, and we are excited to see a new generation of agricultural pioneers, leaders and innovators, and will be providing awards and prizes so that these leaders can become role models for future generations and make the Nigerian diet just as famous as the Mediterranean diet,” Mmobuosi affirmed.
On the choice of Eti Farms, Alao said Tingo Mobile was impressed with what Etimbuk achieved in the past couple of years.
“We were introduced to several female farmers by Exquisite magazine, the organizers of ELOY and we were excited and proud of their achievements to date. We hope this provides recognition of their wonderful work and grant allows them to continue to build for the future.”
Etimbuk is an edible mushroom farmer, a pursuit she started in August 2019 after playing in the agriculture space as a consultant, training people on the best farming practices, and helping people set up their farms for a couple of years.
According to Alao, she has found a way to grow healthy edible mushrooms that meet international standards.
The relationship between Etimbuk and mushrooms started a long time ago when she was diagnosed with asthma. Her family couldn’t afford the conventional treatment for the then seven-year-old, and mushrooms were recommended as an addition to her meals. She didn’t have an attack after that and attributes this to the many health benefits associated with mushrooms.
Her experience with asthma and the tremendous health benefits experienced through adding edible mushrooms to her diet, she read more about the plant, its other many health benefits. Etimbuk decided to learn more about how this superfood could be cultivated when she got into the farming business.
According to her, there are not many mushroom farmers in the country as people don’t know that it could be cultivated and that it holds a lot of health benefits.
“There is not much information about its cultivation in Nigeria. The plant-based protein came in handy in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit because of its ability to boost immunity which is beyond mushroom as a good source of protein, fibre, and antioxidants,” she claimed.
“The year 2020 was a win for us because more people were adding mushrooms to their diet. It has been a bumpy, fun, and challenging journey,” Etimbuk said, giving an account of her mushroom farming over the past two years.
Thanking Tingo Mobile for the grant, she revealed that it arrived at an opportune time, as she is registering with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure that her mushrooms are available on supermarket shelves. Etimbuk hopes to achieve this by the first quarter of 2022.
She believes that registering with NAFDAC and having her mushrooms on supermarket shelves would mean increasing production capacity to meet the anticipated increase in demand.
Etimbuk is working towards making sure that Eti Farms Global is the name when people think about edible mushrooms in the next five years.
“The plan is to put Nigeria on the global map with respect to mushrooms as part of a diet and have Eti Farms at the centre of it all.”