By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Nov. 15, 2020 An agritech focussed company, Farmcrowdy Limited (FC), says it is committed to impact 25,000 farmers across Nigeria through its Structured Financing of N5.7 billion.
Mr Oluwakotanmi Ojo, the Chief Financial Officer and Business Leader, FC Structured Finance, made this known at the firm’s fourth year anniversary in Lagos.
Ojo said 90 per cent of farmers in the country could not access loan facilities as a result of their inability to meet the criteria of commercial banks.
According to him, this is a threat to food security and sufficiency in the country.
Ojo said: “Some of the challenges facing the farmers include: lack of information, high interest rates, lack of access to funds, among others.
“Farmcrowdy Structured Finance has created a business solution to help farmers with access to loan, provide affordable interest rate facilities, farmers inclusion, market access ease, equipment and third party collaboration for farmers.
“We want to impact farmers with the lowest single digit interest loans with the raise of N5.7 billion to finance 25,000 farmers nationwide.
“We have currently cultivated 17,000 acres of lands.
“This will enhance production of farmers and adequately lower the prices of food,” he said.
Also, Mr Christopher Abiodun, a Co-Founder and Chief Lead of the Technology and Data arm, said the firm had built tools and platforms to support the agriculture sector.
According to Abiodun, the tools will help farmers predict yields, profits, and identify markets, among others.
He said: “We have built input disbursement apps, farmers app, Farmcrowdy trader, e-commerce platforms.
“We are committed to impacting farmers’ lives, and livelihoods positively,” he said.
Commenting, Obiajuru Luya, the Business Leader of Farmcrowdy Aggregation, said that the model was to ease farmers’ access to urban markets and adequately reduce the effects of middlemen in the value chain.
Luya said that this model was to use a tech-powered network of agro commodity aggregation centres (102 centres in eight states) to aggregate some fresh commodities, from farmers to end buyers, and processors.
According to her, this model will also help farmers with the provision of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
In her remarks, Mrs Linda Obi, a Business Leader of Farmcrowdy Foods, said that it was an integrated fresh food supply ecosystem with over 800 customers, and over three thousands orders recorded in the pilot 22 weeks.
Obi said that customers were provided with traceable, high-end quality and fresh foods when they purchase from the Farmcrowdy Foods app.
Contributing, Onyeka Akuma, Founder of Farmcrowdy, said that the firm was borne out of the need to help Nigeria’s 38 million small-scale farmers to get access to funding, technical knowledge, and expertise they need to sell their produce.
Akuma said that about 90 per cent of the farmers were facing the challenged of how to get their foods to the market.
He recalled the challenges faced in the first year, saying that the firm began to gain international and funding attention to raise enough money for farmers in poultry, cassava and others.
According to him, the crowd funding company had to see to the challenge of farmers in getting funds to support their businesses and make marginal profits.
Naija247news reports that Farmcrowdy, prioritises empowerment of smallholder farmers, also officially rolled out its Farmcrowdy Foods, Farmcrowdy Technology/Data, Farmcrowdy Aggregation, Farmcrowdy Insurance and Farmcrowdy Marketing.