Highlights…

The journey so far
Farmcrowdy’s new appDownload here.
From a farmer’s perspective
Beyond just sponsoring a farm

I was fortunate to attend Farmcrowdy’s one year anniversary and app launch event at the four points Sheraton, Lagos. What blew me away most was not the exotic venue, or hotel, but getting to have a realer and closer look at what Onyeka and farmcrowdy are doing for agriculture in Nigeria.

Onyeka Akumah, founder and CEO, Farmcrowdy speaking at the firm’s first year anniversary

Farmcrowdy is a platform that allows anyone, anywhere participate in agriculture by sponsoring farms. This way, you do not have to go through the physical stress that has deterred a lot of people, particularly youths from participating in Agriculture. An interested farmer elsewhere does all the work, while you provide the funds. How interesting?

In a study undertaken at the faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University in 2013, certain factors were identified that deter youths from participating in Agriculture. You know what excites me the most? Farmcrowdy addresses a number of these factors to a large extent. Stay with me.

According to the study, 39.7% of youths are constrained as a result of inadequate incentives. It points out an obvious fact that Agriculture is not featured prominently in the media and is rarely glamorous when it is. Lack of incentives could also include inadequate fund available for youths interested in agriculture. This is as reported by Umeh and Odom (2011).

But since the emergence of Farmcrowdy one year ago, I can say that it has become a bit more popular amongst youths. People have decided to turn to the once dreaded agriculture as it can now be done easily, with lesser capital, while making profits too. Farmcrowdy is really making sure.

The research pointed out that almost 30% of youths avoid agriculture because they do not have the adequate training and extension services. The point here now is, Farmcrowdy does not require you to be trained before you can participate in agriculture. All you need is a smartphone, and some funds in your bank account of course and you’re good to go.

 

The journey so far

12 months down the line, Farmcrowdy has actually done a lot in the AgriTech sector. Launched on the 12th September 2016, they got their first sponsor in just 24 hours.

The company grew from about 8 people to 24 already. In Akwa Ibom, they started with around 250 acres in partnership with Meadow foods to cultivate Cassava.

Having sponsored over 2000 farmers already, over 200,000 chickens and planning to cultivate up to 1000 hectares of cassava in Akwa Ibom, Farmcrowdy hopes to work with at least 4000 farmers next year.

Just in case you’re wondering how they’ve been doing these…

The company identify areas that’ll give them the highest yield, after which they meet with community leaders where they get recommended farmers. They then do a check on the farmers to make sure he’s a right person to work with. Farmers automatically become ambassadors for a community once agreements are made.

Farmcrowdy’s one year anniversary

Here’s a brief timeline of their journey so far…

14th November, 2016: The Farmcrowdy platform was launched.
November – December: They expanded from oyo state where they first started.
January, 2017: Farmcrowdy got a partner and added soyabean as part of their products.
February 2017: The team went to Edo state to work on a Cassava farm.
February – March: At this time, they already had a pool of 200 farmers.
March: The company was featured by Rockeller foundation and Business day newspapers. They were also nominated for the award of best AgriTech platform in Nigeria.
July: They were selected to join Techstars Atlanta as the only African startup.
November: One year anniversary and launched their app.

Farmcrowdy’s new app

#WhatIsInYourPocket

#WhatIsInYourPocket was a campaign launched some days back by the company, while they ushered people into #FarmInYourPocket. The Farmcrowdy mobile app was launched at the one year anniversary event. It allows you to farm from your mobile phone. So literally, you can follow farms, sponsor farms and ask questions about farming all from the app.

From a farmer’s perspective

Mr. Okon Achibom is the Managing Director of a farm in Ogun state. He stated poultry in 2001 and knew farmcrowdy in march, 2017 when they, through farm sponsors gave him 4000 birds. Now, with the help of Farmcrowdy, he’s doing 6000 birds and there’s capacity for more. According to Mr. Okon, It’s been a good experience so far.

 

Farmcrowdy has impacted by helping with distribution of farm produce too, and pay the farmers at the very right time. Generally, it’s been the best ride for Mr. Okon.

 

Beyond just sponsoring a farm

In a Farm in Akwa Ibom, Farmcrowdy employed 1,600 people on just a 100 hectare farm. Move that up to 1000 hectares and it’d be about 160,000 people getting jobs. So basically, Farmcrowdy isn’t just sponsoring farms, they are creating jobs and improving the Nigerian economy.

This was noted by Adaku Omidosu, founder of Meadow foods, a partner company of Farmcrowdy.

On his own part, Godwin Ejeh, Supply operations Manager at Syngenta thinks Farmcrowdy is improving the number of youths that participate in agriculture. We do agree with him as the statistics reflects too. Further more, they’re empowering people and reducing risks and crime in the society.

So, for a food secured future in our dear country, and continent too, you could do your own part by sponsoring a farm today. It comes with profits too. Download the Farmcrowdy app here.

At this point, it’s safe to say that after one year in operation, Farmcrowdy has defined the future of Agriculture in Nigeria, and it’s looking bright.