Agriculture is big business, with huge market potentials, anywhere in the world.
But the biggest challenge for the average African farmer is the lack of capital or investment, and those with capital do not wish to farm (we prefer white-collar jobs in the city!) and they cannot reliably connect with farmers.
Then, Tech came along to create a revolutionary platform that can allow anyone participate in agriculture using digital technology, and Nigeria isn’t left out.
Today, Nigerians in any city or part of the world can commit a pre-determined sum of money to remotely own a farm plot/unit and start and complete a farming cycle: with as little as N10,000 per unit to a few million Naira, invested over 3 - 12 months. With your money and others, the agricultural technology (Agric-Tech, or Ag-Tech) company pools funds to sponsor a farmer in one farming cycle for products like maize, rice, cassava, poultry, pig, etc.
Digital farmers or investors can opt to receive regular updates about their farm progress, sometimes including pictures and videos from the farmers, and they can choose to visit their farms any time to learn about the farmer they’ve partnered with and the farm products they are working on.
This digital farming model comes with a decent and insured return on investment (ROI) around 20%. Should any unforeseen circumstance bring loss to the farm products, it is assuring to know that such investments typically come with insurance often from Leadway Assurance or Nigerian Insurance Agricultural Scheme (NAIC).
A single investment not only empowers a farmer to expand his/her farm operations, but it also contributes in the national drive to end food scarcity, increase agricultural production and export, reduce poverty and allow Nigeria make use of its 50 million hectares of arable farmland that is currently underutilized.
On that note, such investment is for you, if you are:
· Looking for passive investment and income;
· Seeking returns-on-investment in double-digits;
· Interested in contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy; and/or
· Care about creating jobs and supporting poor farmers make a living.
Here are six legit Agric-Tech Companies you can invest in:
1. Crowdy vest / Farmcrowdy: Kicked off in 2016 as Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform – a trendsetter. Farm unit costs about ₦50,000 – ₦300,000 with 6% – 27% over 5 to 12 months. Insured by Leadway.
2. Thrive Agric: Farm unit costs about ₦60,000 – ₦200,000 with 7% - 25% returns over 4-12 months. Insured by Leadway.
3. PorkMoney: Pig farms cost about ₦250,000 – ₦5,000,000 over 11 months with 15% - 30% returns. Insured with NAIC.
4. E-Farms: Crop and animal farms costing between ₦50,000 – ₦75,000 typically between 15% – 27% returns over 6-7 months. Insured by NAIC.
5. Piggy vest: It’s a savings platform that provides the cheapest farms costing as low as ₦5,000 with ROI between 8% and 24%. Piggyvest invests customers’ savings with Thrive Agric which is insured by Leadway.
A word of caution: A lot of such digital Agric-Tech platforms are popping up these days, but not all of them are what they claim to be. As a prospective investor, be sure to verify the authenticity of farms before investing and check that the company insures not just the farms but also the capital (your money).
You can go further to verify their insurance policy numbers for all farms, locations, and owners of the farms; their length of existence and track record of accounting and repayments of capital plus interest; as well as whether they receive grants from international organizations. Also, an outrageous interest rate should always send a warning signal --- agribusiness is surely profitable but it’s not a ponzi scheme.
Photo Credit: Connect Nigeria
Article Credit: Precious C. Akanonu (Editorial)