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Farmcrowdy secures additional $1m, prepares to scale enterprise

The money comes as the agri-tech company readies itself for an upcoming Series A fundraising later in the year.

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Farmcrowdy, Poultry Farm

Farmcrowdy has secured an additional $1 million seed funding from international investors, Cox Enterprises and Techstars, along with local investor Ajayi Solutions.

The round comes as the agri-tech company readies itself for an upcoming Series A fundraising later in the year.

How the fund will be explored

In a statement obtained by Nairametrics, it was learnt that Farmcrowdy will use the investment to continue building their award-winning model, whilst expanding across Nigeria to cover 50 per cent of all 36 states in the country over the next 12 months.

Speaking on the secured fund, Onyeka Akumah, Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy, said it is a laudable movement by the agri-tech startup.

“Today’s announcement of this additional funding, marks another milestone for us as we amplify our presence in the country and explore new opportunities. We are delving into the possibility of utilising drone services for field analysis, improving our farmers yield with additional research and 3D mapping, as well as entering into formidable strategic partnerships that will grow the impact of our work. We’re continually grateful that we have a group of investors who share and support our vision as much as we do. It is a great source of motivation for the entire team as we look to the next phase of growth as a company.”

What will interest you about Farmcrowdy

Having pioneered digital agriculture in Nigeria since 2016 and with a team of 50, Farmcrowdy has empowered over 12,000 farmers across 14 states in Nigeria, reared close to 2,000,000 broiler birds as part of its poultry farm cycles and cultivated over 16,000 acres of farmland with over 35,000 farm units sold to date.

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With farm sponsors in Nigeria and across the diaspora, Farmcrowdy is effectively growing a community model that is set to continue the empowerment of local farmers and facilitate food production in Nigeria and eventually across Africa.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Entertainment

What BBNaija winner, Laycon can do with N30 million  

Nairametrics has come up with possible investments that Laycon should consider, as he begins his millionaire phase. 

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After 71 days of intense competition, the season 5 of BBNaija tagged, Big Brother Naija Lockdowncame to an intriguing end yesterday, as one person walked away with the N85 million total grand prize.

After 10 weeks of staying cooped in one house, executing several tasks from sponsors, partying every Saturday, and watching their competitors leave one after the other; finalists emerged from the 20 that started the show  Vee, Neo, NengiDorathy, and Laycon. 

Of the 5, just 1 emerged winner – Olamilekan Agbeleshepopularly known as ‘Laycon’.  

As earlier announced by Multichoice, N30 million was awarded to him as cash prize, with the supplementary 55 million covering;  

  • A two-bedroom apartment courtesy of Revolution Plus 
  • top of the range SUV from Nigerian automaker, Innoson Motors 
  • trip to Dublin courtesy of Guinness 
  • Home appliances courtesy of Scanfrost, and a branded Chiller 
  • trip to Dubai packaged by Travelbeta 
  • 1-year supply of Indomie noodles, Munch it, and Colgate toothpaste 
  • 1-year supply of Pepsi 
  • trip to watch the UEFA Champions League finale 
  • brand new Oppo Reno 3 smartphone. 

Not many are surprised with the outcome, as Laycon was a strong contender from the first day in the house. Despite his vivid intelligence and calm nature; his victory can be attributed to a strong social media strategy by his campaign team. His acceptance was easier, being a lightweight Twitter influencer himself prior to the show.

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Also, from the diary session in the final week, two of the finalists projected Laycon as the most likely winner. Nengi, particularly said she had always considered Laycon a strong competition, and she views him as someone viewers would love. Neo saw Nengi as a possible winner, while Laycon thought Dorathy to be his biggest competition. Vee said that Laycon had strong plans of what to do with the money, and believes he is deserving of the grand prize.

Speaking of strong plans, Nairametrics research team has come up with possible investments that Mr. Agbeleshebioba Massoud Al Khalifah aka Laycon should consider, as he begins his millionaire phase.

Already, the finalists have won some prizes via tasks from sponsors of the show; in fact, all of the finalists have won at least N3million prize each, and Laycon in particular has about N7 million in excess winnings. Assuming that this N7 million and other gifts would take care of his living expenses for the next few months, while he channels the N30 million into worthwhile investments.

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The 26-year-old singer and rapper has over the last couple of years built a music profile that could benefit massively from his new-found fame. Already, front-line artistes like Davido are hinting a possible collabo with the University of Lagos graduate.

In April 2019, Fierce Nation signed on Laycon, alongside Runnjozzy. His singing career dates back to the 2014 Coke Studio University of Lagos event, where he was one of the 10 artistes who performed. Later in 2017, he was one of the top 10 finalists at the MTV Base LSB challenge.

After struggling through his music career for years, without recognition, Laycon will discover that N30 million is a lot of money if invested wisely. It is also a sum that could evaporate in a matter of weeks, if misused.

Mercy Eke, winner of last year’s ‘Pepper Dem’ edition, invested her cash winnings in expanding her luxury clothing line, and launching her real estate company “Lambo Homes” which she founded in partnership with a seasoned real estate Consultant/luxury property developer, and an experienced lawyer.

Now, Laycon does not have a luxury clothing line which he might want to expand, but Research Analyst Samuel Oyekanmi avers that he could consider real estate investments just like last year’s winner. He may not have to start a real estate company, if he has no interest in it, and some landed property could make a good addition to his portfolio, given that the value rarely depreciates. “Such property could become hoteling centres or rented apartments, and bring impressive returns over time,”  he said.

Founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu ‘Ugodre’ Obi-Chukwu, suggests Laycon should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments, where some decent profits can be made.

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According to him, “This will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.” 

Another investment worth considering is Food production. Food is a necessity, and the border closure has done wonders for investments along the food value chain, from farming to processing, and so on.

The transportation sector can also be considered. With proper management, an investment in a couple of vehicles in the transport line, could also yield good returns for Laycon.

Nairametrics’ Investment Analyst, Olumide Adesina, thinks that Crypto-currencies are a good bet at this time, as they are now being used to facilitate payments. He said, “Cryptos offer the highest yield across financial assets, and investing in them can only turn out great. It has recently been attracting institutional funds, and is properly regulated through a legal framework. Laycon could also consider Agro-allied stocks, as many of them have performed quite well. In spite of the insecurity problems disrupting farming in Northern Nigeria, agro stocks such as Okomu Oil have enriched investors, through dividend pay-outs and appreciation of share price. A lot of investors are looking at U.S stocks, but among the log, the tech market remains the most attractive, after the impressive performance tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon put on this year. A lot of people have been spending more time on their phones, working remotely, moving their businesses to the digital space, and providing services down the value chain; all of these has improved the performance of tech stocks.” 

Laycon might need to keep all these in mind, while drawing up the budget allocation for his N30 million cash prize.

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Business

These industries drove business activities in September

The development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

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Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contracts for 5th consecutive month – CBN , To test FX market, CBN pumps $50 million, CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth, These industries drove business activities in September

Despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared last Wednesday that the nation’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted at 46.9 index points, some industries still drove business activities in September.

The industries are Electrical equipment, up from 33.3 index points in August to 66.7 index points; Transportation equipment from 53.8 to 58.1; and Paper products from 44.4 to 50 within the same period.

Though, the Cement industry and non-metalic mineral products dropped from 64.4 to 58.1 and 66.0 to 50.6 index points respectively, the sub-sectors still contributed to the business activities recorded in September.

This was disclosed by the apex bank in its September PMI report released on Wednesday.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that manufacturing PMI for August stood at 48.5 index points, indicating contraction in the sector for the fourth consecutive month.

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Also, out of the 14 surveyed subsectors, 5 sub-sectors reported expansion (above 50 index points thresholds), while the others contracted.

Meanwhile, the production level index for the manufacturing sector indicated contraction in September 2020 for the fifth consecutive month, as well as Employment level and Raw material inventories.

However, the manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 53.5 points in September 2020, indicating faster supplier delivery time for the fifth time.

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(READ  MORE: Manufacturing: Momentum in activities slows in January)

Is the nation coming out of the woods?

Though CBN revealed that only 4 sub-sectors reported expansion in September, contrary to the 6 sub-sectors recorded in August, it is imperative to note that this is an improvement when compared to manufacturing activities in May and June, or the performance in July which saw 12 sub-sectors decline, with one reporting no change, while one expanded.

The impressive performance of cement and other sub-sectors, according to the manufacturing PMI report, is attributable to the expansion in production, new orders, employment, and raw materials’ inventories.

A cursory look at the financials of key players in the industrial goods sector showed that despite the increased cost of higher energy pricing and adverse COVID-19 impacts on transport and naira devaluation, key cement manufacturers still recorded increased topline, driven by demand surge from domestic cement sales.

Back story: Nairametrics had reported on Wednesday that 9 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the reviewed month in the following order:

  • Petroleum & coal products
  • Primary metal
  • Furniture & related products
  • Printing & related support activities
  • Food, beverage & tobacco products
  • Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
  • Chemical & pharmaceutical products
  • Fabricated metal products and
  • Plastics & rubber products

The Non-manufacturing sector PMI stood at 41.9 points in September 2020, indicating contraction in nonmanufacturing PMI, for the sixth consecutive month.

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In all, the development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

However, conditions within the domestic economy remain relatively tight, reflecting continued uncertainties as investors remain cautious of the lingering risk of the pandemic.

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Energy

Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks

The FG and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.

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Minister of Labour, Ngige, says labour demand will force government to sack workers

The Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached between Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deteriorating economy.

While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.

Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.

Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.”

  • Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
  • To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
  • The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
  • During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items:
  • The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
  • An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
  • That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service reflective tariff regime which started on September 1, 2020, is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.

  • By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recalibrating the tariffs for some Discos.
  • According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
  • Labour could also get involved in determining the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.

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