Nigeria's Start-Up Farmcrowdy Pioneers a New Way of Getting Investment and Expertise Into Small-Scale Farming
Against the backdrop of the Nigerian Government's initiative to encourage agriculture, Farmcrowdy is matching investors to small-scale farmers.
Russell Southwood spoke to Farmcrowdy co-founder and CEO Onyeka Akumah about how the platform works and its future expansion plans.
Farmcrowdy's founders started doing research on their start-up business in 2016. They were trying to work out which farmers they could invest in and how to go about it.
The small-scale farmers they looked at had problems with things like: accessing loans to extend the area of land they could cultivate; having enough knowledge to use farm inputs; and selling their harvest at a decent price. From the investors' point of view there was no database of farmers of farmers to invest in, no way of knowing whether individual farmers would be a good bet and therefore no way to get a return.
According to Akumah:"We set up a platform to connect both sides and to see what the different available options were. This helped us identify farmers to partner with. The idea was to share the profits between the different stakeholders. The people doing that initial research became the co-founders of the company and we launched in November 2016. Since then, the team has grown to 27 people".
In the sixteen months from its launch, it has worked with 2,000 small-scale farmers across 8 states with its sponsors (which is the term it uses for investors) down US$2 million to back its small-scale farmers. It focuses on four farm crops - maize, soya bean, cassava, rice - and poultry for chicken meat. Read more from All Africa.
Source: All Africa