As part of efforts to address food shortages as well as make agriculture attractive and beneficial to Nigerians, agricultural technological firm, Farmcrowdy, has unveiled a digital application called Farmcrowdy. The organisation stated that it's also currently empowering more than 2,000 Nigerian farmers across the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah, disclosed that the application is an agricultural platform which connects small-scale farmers and sponsor investors who are ready to produce more food for the country, while also focusing on assisting them with the latest farming techniques and funds to make their lives more meaningful.
Akumah who spoke at Farmcrowdy first year anniversary and the recent launch of the application in IOS, Windows and Android platform at Four Point Hotel, Lagos, revealed that it all started on 14 September when the organisation came into existence and expanded beyond Oyo State in rice, beans and poultry farming and in February 2017. "We moved to Edo State for rice farming where we had a pool of 300 farmers, then Plateau and Akwa Ibom States with 250 hectares of land for cassava farming. This year, Rockefeller has featured us as one of the Agriculture Innovative Organisations in the world."
Empowering thousands of farmers
According to him, Farmcrowdy has concluded plans to further empower more than 4,000 farmers in the country by signing them up in their various communities and giving them all the necessary assistance to make farming simple and beneficial in order to feed the country.
He told ThisDay that in the last 12 months they have sponsored over 2,000 farmers in eight states in the country, adding that their farms cut across 8,000 acres of land with over 200,000 chickens among other aspects of farming activities.
The Farmcrowdy co-founder also stated that they work with the farmers using their different field specialists and partners to ensure that they do what is expected of them to succeed, stressing that they have arranged a ready market to sell the harvest of the farmers and then pay the sponsor 40% profit.
Akumah further noted that from the sponsorship, the farmer gets 40% of the profit in addition to all the money he or she gets from lease, training and other activities, adding that on their part, they realise 20% profit.
Firsthand information on farming activities
Akumah added: "This programme will help farmers even without being on the farm by providing them with the latest farming techniques and investing in them in other areas of farming that will better their lots. On the app, we decided to create a digital platform to get many people on the programme to understand agriculture and its benefits.
"When the app is downloaded and registered, it allows you to get firsthand information on farming activities as well as monitoring them. Through it, you share your ideas, techniques and aid you to calculate our inputs and gains as well as get notifications on the latest information.
"One of the problems farmers are facing is smart farming education. The second problem is the market to sell their farm produce in order to earn a decent margin. The third problem is that most of them are not into banking. Some don't participate in banking activities.
"They don't know how to get subsidies from banks so we provide all of them. We provide them also with the training and fund to expand their farms as well as the market to sell their farm produce. The focus is to take them away from the poverty level to live a better life.
Sponsoring farmers to produce the country's food
"Our relationship with the farmers has been good. Next year, we want to empower 4,000 farmers, in the next two years, we will empower 10,000. Beyond that, we want to empower 50,000 farmers by the year 2020. The Farmcrowdy model is such that Nigerians are sponsoring farmers to produce the country's food for consumption. We will then replicate this model we have done here in other parts of Africa."
One of Farmcrowdy's partners who spoke to ThisDay, Supply Operation Manager of Syngenta Godwin Ejeh, said the partnership is one of the core values of the group. He stated that they partnered people they feel would drive Syngenta's vision. Other partners include Leadway Insurance among others.