FarmFund: To address challenges in the agric sector, FarmFunded has introduced an online crowdfunding platform to scale-up farming operations.
The mission of the organisation, which aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is to end hidden hunger in Africa by ensuring that there is access to affordable and healthy food, to achieve food security.
It is also meant to provide support in form of best agronomic practices to farmers and help them implement practices that improve productivity and production, thus promoting sustainable agriculture.
According to the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Joshua Ajisope, the organisation also strive to fortify the fortunes of the farmers and funders by combining their resources, to have a synergistic effect that will increase the income base of all stakeholders.
He noted that FarmFunded works with farmers’ associations, farmers’ clusters and farmers’ co-operative society, by interfacing with them, to make their intentions on funding known.
“And upon our due diligence checks and feasibility studies with SWOT analysis on their farms, we can then have their farms on the online platform.
Funders who are our investors would decide on the available farms on the platform they want to fund upon being able to successfully sign-up to the platform.
After careful consideration of the farm funding information, they would then choose the units of farms to be funded and also make necessary payments to the account of the company either online or b making bank deposits.
“After bank deposits have been made, they would have the farms on their platform. It is worthy of note to say that upon the end of the farm-cycle, farmers would have their farm produce sold to the ready markets that we have negotiated with earlier.
Initial funds with accruing returns on invested funds would be paid to the account number provided by the funder.
The farmers will take a certain percentage as agreed with FarmFunded, while FarmFunded takes the remainder. Sometimes, the remainder profits are shared in ratio 70:30 or 65:35.”
He added that the organisation is proffering the solution of having an online crowdfunding platform where funders who are investors can simply visit “our website and then fund the operations of available farms that suit their interests, while we channel the funds to the appropriate farms for them to scale-up their farming activities with the funds provided.
“Channeling the funds doesn’t mean that we are giving the farmers cash, rather we will be providing tractors to clear and plough the farms, we will also be providing seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, farm implements, such as seeders, electric sprayers needed for them to work.
Also, we will be providing agric-extension services for the farmers.”
While noting that farmers have the advantage of ready-made market for their produce, in form of off-takers, he lamented that inadequate knowledge on best agronomic practices, access to farm inputs and farm implements, high-yielding seeds, fertilizers and herbicides needed for them to work on their farm is the bane of agric development in the continent.
“We also identified the problem that many farmers don’t have a good market for their produce because they are limited as to the knowledge of available markets and at prevailing rates.”