In a world where the Coronavirus pandemic has caused uncertainties in capital markets, agritech startups may have become safer options for investors. Today, there are various agritech startups that have made farming more profitable, by eliminating risk exposure and delivering ROI to investors who do not have to buy land, place workers on salaries, or even burn cash on pest control and management.
These agritech startups have reinvented the way farm business is operated, hence, making more Nigerians – most especially blue-collar workers –to weigh their investment options and consider becoming digital farmers.
The following are five selected agritech startups that offer high yield investment opportunities through internet/mobile app-farming.
This agrictech startup was founded by Niyi Oguntade. It is an initiative of Timesellers Limited. Groupfarma focuses on tubers, small ruminate, vegetables, poultry, and rice farms. The investment options offered by Groupfarma have various returns on investment, falling between 20% and 28%, with farming cycles from 6 months and above.
The capital required for investment is at least N50,000 per unit and the farm is covered by Leadway Assurance. Groupfarma has farms located in Ogun, Oyo, and Kaduna states. The company partners with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
The firm is co-founded by Bill Kenneths and Akpa Chike. Farmsponsor leverages on technology to bridge the gap between interested investors and the farmers. It mainly focusses on poultry farming and offers investors assurance of 15% on 12-week cycles.
The start-up opens its farm to investors who are willing to invest from N100,000 to as much as N1 million. The investment firm also offers investors the opportunity to save their cash with vestwallet for upcoming cycles. Farmsponsor is also insured by Leadway Assurance and the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
Felix Imafidon is the founder of the marketplace, Requid, which won the maiden edition of the Nigerian Stock Exchange X-Kathon competition. The agric investment platform operates with a twist, as it offers investors the option of liquidating (selling) at any time if an investor cannot wait till the end of their cycles. Note that the cycles are usually between 3 to 12 months.
The company also has the lowest capital investment among the selected agric-tech startups. Interested investors can invest as low as N5000 in investment opportunities aggregated by Requid, which include rice, goat, pig, cowper, cashew nuts, fish, yam, and poultry farms. Surprisingly, Requid offers as high as 60% cumulative return on investments annually.
4. Thrive Agric
The agritech startup was co-founded by Ayodeji Arikawe and Uka Eje in 2016. Thrive Agric has farms in Oyo and Kano. Investors are allowed to invest from as low as N10,000 to as much as N85,000, depending on the investor’s preferred crop. Returns on investment fall between 12% and 20%, depending on the level of investment.
Thrive Agric manages both poultry and rice farms, which are insured by Leadway Assurance.
This list will not be complete without mentioning this agritech startup. Farmcrowdy is a household name in the agric investment space. It was co-founded by Onyeka Akumah, Akindele Phillips, Tope Omotolani, Christopher Abiodun, and Ifeanyi Anazodo four years ago to empower farmers and help investors earn profits without having to lift a shovel.
Farmcrowdy offers a variety of investment options to investors, ranging from maize farms to rice, potatoes, fish, cassava, poultry, cattle, and more farms, most of which are located in Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Niger State, and Lagos states. These farms are insured by Leadway Assurance.
Capital for investment falls between N20,000 and N60,000 per unit, with ROI ranging from 7% to as high as 44% depending on the investor’s farm choice. Farmcrowdy’s farm cycle runs between 3 and 24 months.
Why you should invest in agric
Nigeria is gradually moving closer towards experiencing an agrictech boom, as food security within the country is still low. The population explosion has further increased the value of agric businesses.
With a population of over 190 million, Nigerian farmers are in need of more investments to meet the local demand for agricultural production as well as exportation needs. Not only is there a demand, the land is readily available, considering that out of 82 million hectares of Nigeria’s arable land only about 32 to 34 million hectares are cultivated.
(READ MORE: Covid-19 Update in Nigeria)
Following the border closure by President Muhammadu Buhari to support domestic farming, these hectares are expected to drastically decline in number in the long run. Ongoing efforts by the government to diversify the economy from oil dependence will also help in this regard. This is already paying off, considering that agriculture was one of the key drivers of the non-oil sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, growing by 2.28% in Q3 2019.
However, there is a warning sign
Note that the agritech investment market is still very much under-regulated, even as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned interested investors must carry out due diligence before patronising any agritech platform. Part of this due diligence is to contact SEC after discussion with the investment platforms.
Covid-19: WHO says the promise of vaccine is a game changer
The WHO has stated that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
The World Health Organization has said that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
This disclosure was made by the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, during a press briefing at Copenhagen on Thursday, December 2, 2020, according to a report from Reuters.
Kluge said there are expectations that there would be limited supplies of Covid-19 vaccine supplies at the early stages and as such countries must decide who gets priority.
However, the WHO emphasized that there is a growing consensus among stakeholders that older people, medical workers, and people that share the virus with some other health conditions will be among the first recipients of the vaccine.
What you should know
It can be recalled that yesterday, UK regulator gave its approval to the Covid-19 vaccine, which was developed by Pfizer Inc in collaboration with BioNTech, moving ahead of the rest of the world, including the United States in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.
- This follows the announcement by Pfizer that the vaccine proved 95% effective in a final analysis of clinical-trial data for its phase 3 study.
- In addition, Biotech firm, Moderna Inc, also announced that its Covid-19 experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary study.
- The United States and European Union regulators are sifting through the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but are yet to give their approval.
- The WHO revealed on Wednesday it had received data from Pfizer and BioNTech on the vaccine and was reviewing it for possible listing for emergency use, a minimum condition for countries to authorize national use.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 2nd of December 2020, 122 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 67,960 confirmed cases.
On the 2nd of December 2020, 122 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.
To date, 67,960 cases have been confirmed, 63,839 cases have been discharged and 1,177 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 779,708 tests have been carried out as of December 2nd, 2020 compared to 756,237 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 2nd December 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 67,960
- Total Number Discharged – 63,839
- Total Deaths – 1,177
- Total Tests Carried out – 779,708
According to the NCDC, the 122 new cases were reported from 11 states- Kaduna (37) Lagos (29 ), Plateau (25), Ekiti (9), Rivers (5), Ogun (5), Edo (4) Kwara (4), Bayelsa (2), Bauchi (1), and Kano (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,439, followed by Abuja (6,868), Plateau (3,902), Oyo (3,728), Kaduna (3,173), Rivers (3,001), Edo (2,703), Ogun (2,233), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,798), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,110), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,030), Osun (947), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (774), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 677 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (493), Bayelsa (456), Ekiti (374), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (166), Taraba (163), Yobe (100), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
OFFICIAL: UK Approves Covid-19 Vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech
The United Kingdom has approved Covid-19 Vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and will start distributing from next week.
The United Kingdom has approved Covid-19 Vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and will start distributing from next week. The approval by UK Regulatory authorities makes the country the first to approve the vaccine in the world.
The emergency authorization clears the way for the rollout of the vaccine which had been certified to be 95% effective in preventing illness in the final analysis of phase 3 trial, from early next week.
The vaccine is given in two shots (doses).
According to reports monitored by Nairametrics, the vaccine will be administered firstly to medical workers and home caregivers, frontline health workers, those aged 80 and above before being made available to the general public.
The vaccine was made by German company BioNTech in conjunction with US Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and is said to be 95% effective in preventing the disease. This is after it was tested on over 43, 000 people in the mandatory phase 3 trials.
The US Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing the vaccine and could also approve its usage later in the month.
What they are saying
The government in its statement said, “The government has today accepted the recommendation from the Independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use.’’
A UK government spokesperson also said:
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week. The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination.”
“I’m confident now, with the news today, that from spring — from Easter onwards — things are going to be better. We’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy.” Matt Hancock, UK health secretary.
Matt Hancock revealed that this is going to be one of the biggest civilian projects in history as 50 hospitals are preparing to administer the vaccine with 800,000 doses ready to be delivered from Belgium.
Hancock said, “I’m obviously absolutely thrilled with the news, very proud that the UK is the first place in the world to have a clinically authorized vaccine.’’
The UK regulator said on Wednesday, that the Covid-19, met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
The UK had earlier given hope that it was going to act swiftly in approving a vaccine and then put doctors across the country on standby for a possible rollout. This will also come as a relief to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has been facing a series of criticisms over his handling of the pandemic that has killed almost 60,000 people in the UK.
The UK’s vaccine committee is expected to decide which priority groups will be given the shot first; care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be first in line.
The United Kingdom is said to have ordered over 357 million doses from seven manufacturers.
What you should know:
Pfizer has earlier announced that the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing in collaboration with its German partner, BioNTech, was certified 95% effective in preventing illness, much higher than expected. The approval of the vaccine by UK regulator, ahead of US counterpart, who is set to meet on December 10, to decide on whether to recommend emergency use authorization, marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19.
The European Medicines Agency had disclosed that it could give emergency approval for the Pfizer vaccine by December 29.
China has already given emergency approval for 3 experimental vaccines and has immunized about 1 million people since July.
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