Crop Care Series🥦: Nutrient Deficiencies

Our Crop Care Series shares quick tips that you can personally apply on your farm in managing nutrient deficiencies or pest and disease infestations. This week we are focusing on nutrient deficiencies. By looking at the leaves of your crop plants, you can infer what nutrients your crop needs. And with that diagnosis you can apply the necessary fertilizer required.

We will be focusing on 5 potential nutrient deficiencies. If you think we have missed out on anything, do let us know in the comments section.

Phosphorous Deficiency

You are likely to notice darkening around the edges of leaves. There could also be small or absent flowers, which are signs of stunted growth. This is fairly popular with Jute leaves (local names; Ewedu, Ahinghara or Rama).

If you happen to also have a fish farm, just take some water from the pond or pool and apply to the affected area.

Nitrogen Deficiency

The leaves are likely to be yellow or pale green, and growth will be stunted. You have probably seen this with maize crops.

Fret not! Grow nitrogen-rich plants like beans and peas close to the affected area.

Potassium Deficiency

Some signs are brown spots, brown or yellow veins or yellow edges on the leaves. This might be as a result of drought or disease so watch carefully!

If you have banana or plantain peels, this can help. Just bury them in one inch into your soil, and you will provide the required nutrients while keeping away pesky aphids. Not sure how to get the peels? There must be a boli food vendor around you to ask!

“With Farmz2U’s Crop Care Series, you can perform diagnostics on your farm and implement low-cost solutions!”

Magnesium Deficiency

Yellowing is a common theme across most deficiencies, so the same applies here. Yellowing of the veins and edges of the leaves. It is common with vegetables like tomatoes and pepper.

A quick solution is applying salt directly to the top of the soil.

Calcium Deficiency

Last but not least! Expect yellow spots between the leaf veins.

A weird and quick fix is adding crushed egg shells into the soil. This might be readily available if you are a poultry farmer. Alternatively you can pay ask a bakery that uses lots of eggs

Hope this gives you some ideas on affordable ways of managing your farm.

The Rains are Here

Nigeria’s rainy season is from March to July, then September to October after the short August break. During this period farmers practising rainfed agriculture, experience the most intense farm activities.

Consumers are happy, your favourite fruit is in season, and the market is filled with fresh farm produce. And farmers are smiling to the bank as they reel out more produce from the farm.

With multiple advantages from the rains, especially as a very lucrative side hustle. It is surprising that many youths are yet to tap into the opportunity of this season. Perhaps there is a knowledge gap that must be filled.

red tomatoes in the box
Photo Credit: Natalie Parham – Unsplash

The return on investment in agriculture is huge, to find out what you can earn from farming go to

This article aims to bridge the knowledge gap on three major crops.

01. VEGETABLE PRODUCTION: The place of vegetables in most Nigerian dish is indispensable, like jute (ewedu), waterleaf, pumpkin (ugwu) and much more. Their numerous health benefits and easy management makes it top on my list. To get into vegetable farming; fertile land, good seeds, and access to water (provided by the rain) are necessary.

Land clearing and preparation is the first step. Water the prepared land for 2 to 3 days before planting. Depending on the specie, make a trench (adequately spaced between and moderate in depth) along the farm, to ensure increased yield and aid easier management. Then, evenly distribute your seeds in the trenches. The fertility of some soil needs to be augmented with either organic or inorganic fertilizers to sufficiently support the growth of vegetables. It is advised that organic fertilizers be applied before planting for effective uptake by the plant. Weeding should also be done routinely.

In 4 weeks, the first batch of vegetable will be mature for harvest, and ready for sale.

02. MAIZE PRODUCTION: Maize is arguably the most popular staple grain in Nigeria. Apart from its diverse use in human consumption and animal feed, it is also sourced for by Agro-allied industries. A fertile land, viable seeds, access to fertilizer, water, and pesticides are major determinants of success.

The land can be cleared before the rains. Land preparation involves tilling, for easy penetration of the roots. While spacing is usually done at 90 * 60m, before the seeds are sown at the rate 3-4 per hole (local seed) or 2 (hybrid seed).

Other management practice for maize farming includes: supplying of seeds to missing stands, fertilizer application, weeding, thinning, pesticide application, and top dressing.  At the end of the third month after planting, matured maize cob should be ready for harvest. Though four months is not an anomaly owing to seed viability and management practices.

green corn plant field
Photo Credits: Henry Be – Unsplash

03. RICE CULTIVATION: Since the ban on rice importation, the demand of locally produced rice has skyrocketed. As one of the most important foods in Nigeria, farmers have enjoyed increased sales revenue from rice cultivation.

Depending on the variety, rice can grow in almost all geographical zones of Nigeria. A fertile land with moderately high-water holding capacity is advised at the least, but heavy soils with high clayey content is mostly preferred. The land is prepared by either harrowing the field just before the first rain or be allowed to be flooded by the first rain. A decision which is dependent on the method of planting; either sowing the seeds directly or transplanting raised seedlings in the nursery to the field at 21 days. Note that rice should only be planted when the rain has been fully established.

Other management practices involved in rice cultivation are: supplying to areas where seeds are yet to germinate, maintenance of field water level, fertilizer application, weeding, pest and bird control. It takes four months for rice to be ready for harvest, under normal circumstances.

Indeed, farming requires knowledge and experience to guide you through uncertainties and avoid losses. At Farmz2U, we support farmers with technical agricultural expertise using data like soil composition. Visit to get started or send an email to to learn more!

Don’t waste the rains!

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Africa’s New Age Modern Farmers

Our objective at Farmz2U is to increase food security and sustainability through innovation in agriculture. With a focus in Sub Saharan Africa, we seek to use technology to empower smallholder farmers,the bedrock of agriculture. Afterall, they make up 80% of all farmers in the region and contribute to local food production.

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt – Women farming cassava in Sierra Leone

For as long as I can remember, the African farmer has been depicted as uneducated and poor, with a hoe or cutlass being used to manage his or her farm. But guess what, there is a new age of modern farmers in Africa. With the continent’s resources like vast arable land and a growing youth population, there is a great potential for the agricultural sector.

Farmz2U helps farmers farm better with tailored agricultural expertise and access to market”

Technology has a way of accelerating growth and this is what we seek to achieve at Farmz2U with our digital platform. This week, I had a Zoom call with farmers in Lagos, Nigeria demonstrating our product and its impact in addressing their challenges. So, at Farmz2U, yes we know firsthand that the depiction of the African farmer being uneducated and poor is becoming less true.

Zoom Call with Farmers (details redacted)

COVID-19’s Impact on Agriculture and Farmz2U’s Response

Food industries across the world have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this increases the risk of food insecurity. While in advanced economies like the United States, production has been suspended in the dairy industry due to an inability to distribute produce via existing channels. Emerging economies like Nigeria struggle with challenges of transporting produce from the farm to the end-consumer. These challenges create a need to do things differently to ensure food production is protected. Africa has a greater food insecurity risk as a net-food importing continent.

What are the challenges for Nigeria’s food industry and where are the opportunities for growth? Increased post-harvest waste is a challenge as farmers are unable to sell produce via traditional distribution channels. For instance, many farmers across the country depended on the Mile 12 market in Lagos to sell harvested produce, however with inter-state travel restrictions this is not a viable channel. Similarly, logistics a challenge pre COVID-19, is more difficult with less reliability and increased price volatility. The industry is not regulated thus increasing the risk of uncoordinated activities. Other challenges in the industry include price volatility of inputs and harvested produce, higher inventory cycles with food manufacturers such as Honeywell due to supply disruption and lower food supply to serve local demand due to closed international borders.

Farmz2U is focusing on improving farmer’s activities to ensure food security. Our COVID response strategy has two objectives, which is funded by an international grant. Our goal is to facilitate a minimum of 500 trades between farmers and the market by connecting farmers to new distribution channels. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased need for direct communication between farmers and food producers to better manage changing production schedules. Furthermore, there has been an increase in online distribution channels like Farmcrowdy Foods. Our aim is to support these changes using a USSD service to capture farmers’ available produce and enable trade through buyer matching. In addition, we would support a minimum of 5000 farmers with our farming management platform with features like input pricing & procurement and disease management through digital agronomy services. Both objectives are in line with our business mission of “helping farmers farm better with tailored agricultural expertise using data and access to market”. We are currently offering free access on our platform until August 2020.

#RebuildAfterCOVID Series

Opportunities in Agriculture

The last few weeks have been bleak to say the least. But remember, just as there was life long before COVID, there will be life long after.

It is important to identify opportunities in a post-COVID world, and be a part of rebuilding economies and lives that have been affected by this pandemic.

Watch the webinar via the channels below, and learn something interesting today:

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Jesse Osiobe – the founder of a leading agric-tech platform Farmkart. Through his dad’s employment at Mitchell Farms, Jesse learnt firsthand the need for increased local agricultural production in Nigeria. In 2016, he pursued Farmkart full-time and has experienced significant growth.

Ify Umunna – the co-lead of Nourishing Africa, a virtual home of agri-food entrepreneurs transforming Africa’s agricultural landscape. Nourishing Africa is an initiative of Sahel Consulting, a leading consultancy transforming agriculture through advisory services and market access.

Noah Kadima – founder of Africa Farmers Club which was created to support farmers with credible, reliable and applicable farming methods to improve efficiency and increase income. He is also the beneficiary of the 2018 Facebook $1 million CLP award. Noah is a great advocate of youth farming and mentor of many aspiring farmers.

If you have any questions for our amazing speakers, please include a comment below or email #StaySafeStayHome

Monthly Summary: Jan ’20

In December 2019, BBC Yoruba interviewed our founder, Aisha, alongside some farmers in the Amuludun community in Ikorodu Lagos. While we are still pre-launch, we have been working with different communities to understand the challenges they face and how our solution can solve them. It is great to see value already being created! Watch the short interview here. 

Next stop we were off to London for the RAEng residency week for the Africa Prize Award 2020 and the UK-Africa Investment Summit. It is great to see growing ties between the UK and Africa on the #InvestinAfrica agenda. This creates more opportunities for SME enterprises on the African continent.

If you want to talk to us about anything, please send an email to

Monthly Summary: Oct ’19

It is so cool that we were in Nigeria (Lagos & Akwa Ibom) and England (London & Cambridge) in one month!
We started off on the EIT Food Hackahton at the Impact Hub in Kings Cross, London. It was a weekend of brainstorming innovative methods of addressing challenges in the food industry using technology. Next stop was a two-week residency at the Cambridge Consultants (CC) headquarters in Cambridge. After months of working with the team remotely to optimize our software development, we worked at CC’s base to further engage with its experts.

With our nomination as the Best Digital Solution (Green Category) by World Summit Awards, we presented at the Mobile and Disruptive Technology 2019 Summit in Lagos.

We were also at the NOAH London 2019 Summit to interact with investors and startups in the European community. Watch Aisha’s pitch here.

If you want to talk to us, please send an email to

What is Farmz2U?

We are a an agtech enterprise that develops technology solutions for agriculture. With a team of agronomists, engineers and data scientists, we seek innovative ways of using technology to empower the next generation of farmers in Sub Saharan Africa.

Why are we doing this?

Farmers in Nigeria challenges like poor yield, poor access to market and knowledge gap among others. While our operations are currently in Nigeria, we seek to expand across Sub Saharan Africa given similar farm structures like size and soil type, across the region.
To ensure food sustainability, we are helping farmers increase produce yield and reduce pest & disease infestations. Our goal is to increase profits and productivity on the farm.

How are we doing this?

Our farming management platform has features that help farmers decide what to grow. This is based of farm resources and data analytics, for instance; historic crop yields can determine maize as a good candidate! Also with access to market we support secondary services like guaranteed sales which is very important to the farmer! Farmz2U plays a market maker role in ensuring profitable and equitable benefits across the entire value chain.

If you want to talk to us, please send an email to