Episode 69: Chyka Okarter


by Rodney Wilson

Chyka Okarter talks about farming an Extension work in Nigeria, putting the lean farming concept into practice, and finding creative financing from within the food system.

Hear about what agriculture looks like in Nigeria—a pursuit with huge potential that Chyka feels is not being met in this country that’s slightly larger than Texas. He talks about growing up in a farming family and wanting to go into agriculture to help farmers work more efficiently.

Learn about the Feed the Future Program, USAID, and Winrock International’s work in bridging the gap between Extension and small-scale farmers where there is one Extension agent to 10,000 farmers. Chyka’s work is to train the trainers working with micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) cohorts to implement the lean principles in farm business approach. They wanted to try using the lean approach rather than the traditional Good Agronomic Practices approach, which can lead to information overload. Hear two examples—in aquaculture and in crop production—of how the six steps of the lean approach have led to big wins for farmers and the whole food chain. (Spoiler alert: One discovery changed the catfish mortality rate from 50%+ to 0% with this approach, and another is leading farmers to more precise organic fertilizer use.)

Finally, listen in on how farmers in Nigeria—a country in economic crisis—are working within the food system for an innovative financing model involving input credits.

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