Editor: Temoso Sebetha
Farmcrowdy is Nigeria's first digital agriculture platform that connects small scale farmers with smart farming techniques.
Farmcrowdy focuses on connecting farm sponsors with real small-scale farmers. Through the platform, sponsors support farmers by sponsoring farm units. It also empowers farmers by providing them with seeds, farm input, training on modern farming techniques, and provides a market for the sale of their farm produce.
Farmcrowdy was founded by Onyeka Akumah along with Akindele Phillips, Ifeanyi Anazodo, Tope Omotolani, and Jimoh Maiyegun. It was launched in November 2016 and has 11-50 employees. In 2017 it was reported to have empowered over 25,000 small-scale farmers in Nigeria and is made up of individuals with unique skill sets and years of experience in technology, management, product development, and operations.
The company launched a new subsidiary, Farmgate Africa on 2 April 2019. It focuses on providing major processors and international buyers the opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters.
Farmcrowdy has a farmer’s integration process that firstly focuses on crop and land selection.Farmcrowdy plays a role in identifying crops that need to be cultivated based on seasons, demand, and locations.
It also finds potential partners in terms of input providers and mechanisations. After identifying land, the company moves on to the second step of reaching out to farmers’ associations or community leaders to help them identify the right candidates with experience in farming and who are committed to learn and make it in farming. Once the location and farmers have been found, Farmcrowdy provides input to the farmer in a form of seed varieties, training on modern farming techniques, and mechanised tools. Technical field specialists are assigned to each farm.
Farmcrowdy concludes the farmer's integration process by finding off-takers which are buyers of the farmer's products. This part eliminates the issue of farmers being exploited and underpriced. This frees up farmers to concentrate on farming instead of worrying about selling their products after harvest. In the end, farmers are able to sell their produce at profitable margins.
Farmcrowdy provides a secure platform for those interested in agriculture to select a farm they want to sponsor. The second part of the process is farm selection. This happens once individuals sign up on the Farmcrowdy platform by creating an account, they then select the farm units they want to sponsor, subject to availability.
The company uses the sponsor's funds to secure the land, engage the farmer, plant the seeds, insure the farmers and farm produce, complete the full farming cycle, and cover the logistics.
The process moves to the tracking process and this happens where farm sponsors get an update in the form of a text, pictures, and videos to track the full-cycle which means the farming progress and process. This is done from the Farmcrowdy app. Another alternative in tracking the full-cycle is for farm sponsors to visit the farms, speak to farmers and to get the full update. The sponsor integration process concludes on return after harvest. The company ends the farming cycle by paying the farm sponsors their initial sponsorship and a return on their sponsorship.
In December 2017, Farmcrowdy announced a $1 million seed fund led by international and local investors including Social Capital, Cox Enterprises and Techstars Ventures. In February 2018, the startup was awarded a $325,000 grant from GSMA Mobile for Development at Mobile World Congress 2018 held in Barcelona, Spain.
Awards and Recognition
In 2017, Farmcrowdy was nominated in the 2017 Business Day for top 25 most innovative companies and institutions.
In 2017, Farmcrowdy won the Agro-Innovator of the year 2016/2017 and Agritech platform of the year 2017 by the Nigeria Technology Awards.
In 2018, it was selected as ITU Telecom World Awards 2018. It was selected as the National Productivity Order of Merit 2018. In 2018, Farmcrowdy was selected as the Annual Business Day Top 100 Fastest-Growing SME in Nigeria 2018.
In 2018, Farmcrowdy won the Best Agritech Solution at the Apps Africa Innovation Awards 2018. Farmcrowdy won the Agritech Company of the Year Award 2018 (Meet The Farmers Conference).
Farmcrowdy won the Digital Business of The Year 2018 at the annual Global African Business Awards ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In 2019, Farmcrowdy won the International Award 2019 for the Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness.
In 2019, Farmcrowdy received the Disruptive Innovation in Agribusiness Award granted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in Rome, Italy.
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