Agri fintech startup, Farmcrowdy, today unveiled Farmgate Africa, its commodity aggregator platform.
The event was also an opportunity for the startup to unveil its plans for the rest of the year, pertaining to what is now known as the Farmcrowdy Group.
Reasons for the group structure
Co-founder of Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah, shed more light on why the startup decided to expand.
The Farmcrowdy Group was given birth to as a result of sitting down in this office and deciding what the things in agriculture that need funding are. One of the things we noticed was that market access for farmers was a real big problem. Other things we noticed were funding to produce, technical knowledge, etc. But when they are done with all those, where do they sell what they produce?
In deciding how to go about tackling that problem, we noticed that even the big buyers struggle with how they source raw materials. We identified an opportunity in that space. In designing how Farmcrowdy was going to tackle that opportunity, we discovered that there were so many other things people wanted.
People want information around agriculture, such as how to tend crops or make land available for farming. So we decided to build a community for them, to get the information they need from experts.
This then led to the need for a group structure
As we were doing all these things, we discovered that we couldn’t do all this under Farmcrowdy, as people get distracted. So, we decided to create Farmcrowdy into a group, that will house all the opportunities identified. Here, people can see the subsidiaries and how each one is feeding into the entire group. We also identified people we could partner with, and people we could invest in and scale their operations. That gave birth to the Farmcrowdy Group.
Onyeka disclosed that in its first year, the startup worked with 900 farmers and is currently working with 11,000 farmers.
In the works
Aside Farmgate Africa, Akumah stated that the next subsidiary would be launched in May, and there would be several announcements in June and July. Each subsidiary would be run by a Managing Director.
On Farmgate Africa
Farmgate Africa is led by Kenneth Obiajulu who is one of its co-founders.
What will Farmgate Africa do?
Farmgate Africa will bridge the gap between rural farmers and the market place, by providing major processors and international buyers the opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters through technology.
The startup has identified major processors and international buyers for commodities. It has also identified production clusters and built relationships with local farmers The processors will also be able to place orders on the platform. In addition, Farmgate will deliver commodities to major processors.
How it works
Farmgate crowdsources funds from high net worth individuals and then pays the farmers as soon as they bring in their produce. Produce is checked and then bagged. The transactions are completely automated.
Focus areas in the next two years
Obiajulu also explained that Farmgate would focus on four key sectors in the next two years:
- Beef processing (over 5,000 metric tonnes of carcass beef) with a major partner in the South West of Nigeria.
- Developing aggregation capacities for over 100,000 metric tonnes of maize for onward delivery to a major processor in Nigeria.
- Developing aggregation capacities for over 40,000 metric tonnes of soybeans for onward delivery to a major processor in Nigeria.
- Developing aggregation capacities for over 3,000 metric tonnes of dried split ginger for onward export to the UAE and Britain.