Nigerian agritech startup, Farmcrowdy has launched Farmcrowdy 3.0, as part of its expansion into diverse businesses. The company announced the launch during its 4th year anniversary celebration.
The occasion also marks the third National Digital Agriculture Day, a celebration initiated by Farmcrowdy back in 2018.
Farmcrowdy 3.0 is essentially an umbrella platform comprising 6 business units which the company is looking to focus on in the next year. These 6 business units include FC Tech and Data; FC Structured Finance; FC Insurance; FC Marketing; FC Aggregation; and FC Foods.
The business units majorly leverage tech to deliver value to farmers and consumers alike. They are an expression of the company’s ambition and how it is looking to deepen its offering to cater to as many needs as it possibly could.
FC Aggregation, for instance, has the ultimate goal of making sure farmers get their work’s worth. Highlighting that the major problem for farmers is access to market, FC Aggregation business lead, Obi Luya explained that this is a two-pronged problem as farmers can’t reach buyers directly and vice versa. This, coupled with poor storage and transport facilities means N3.42 trillion is lost annually due to post-harvest losses.
To solve this problem, FC aggregation is launching a Production and Outgrowers project which aims to facilitate trade through a platform called Farmcrowdy Trader. This is a one-stop-shop where buyers and sellers can meet and trade with each other.
“Buyers are able to come to the platform remotely and see farmers who have uploaded their products. They can also make their choices and concerns known and get real-time responses.”Obi Luya
This unit operates with aggregation centres stationed in rural farming communities. These centres, located within 2 kilometres of affiliated farms, are equipped with digital equipment. Farmers could upload produce after weighing and standardization and it becomes globally available. There are 101 aggregation centres and 182,000 farmers registered on the platform.
Speaking about FC Tech, Farmcrowdy CTO, Christopher Abiodun noted that the new business units target 30,000 farmers. With 38 million small-scale farmers in Nigeria and 90% of them finding it extremely difficult getting their produce to the markets, these new businesses, all leveraging technology, look to solve the problems in the food value chain.
Farmcrowdy Tech and Data, therefore, looks to provide insights, market and yield predictions, market research points, data analysis and others. He also emphasized the deployment of Technical Field Specialists and a farmers’ app.
For the Structured Finance business unit, its head, Oluwakotanmi Ojo said the unit aims to help farmers access capital and loan facilities. He noted that 50% of the Nigerian population are farmers and 90% of them have no access to loan facilities.
He chalked the financial limitations of farmers to three major challenges: lack of info and access; financial exclusion because only 28.5% of the Nigerian population have any financial relationships with banks; and finally, high-interest loans. He said the unit would focus on equipment financing, third party collaborations and finally making farm produce directly available to end consumers at affordable prices
For FC Insurance, the company’s Chief Risk Officer, Akindele Philips says the unit aims to be the link between farmers and participants in the food value chain. He noted that only 1.9% of adults in Nigeria (about 3.9 million) have any form of insurance. Local farmers make up a majority of adults lacking any form of insurance and this is affecting food production in Nigeria.
To this end, local farmers need digital platforms to easily register and obtain insurance packages. They also require products that are flexible and affordable. FC Insurance’s goal is, therefore, to make insurance affordable and available to farmers.
Insurance products which the business unit aims to provide to farmers include Life insurance, hospice and health, property protection and crop insurance for damage to farms due to pest, adverse weather, fire etc.
For FC marketing, its business lead, Babajide Aroyewun said the unit operates a 360-degree integrated system of marketing in its quest to become a marketing solutions provider. He introduced the business’ marketing platform, Agricsquare which he claimed has over 25,000 active members talking tech and agric.
Agricsquare is a public social community for users to meet and interact with agritech enthusiasts. FC Marketing is expected to spearhead Farmcrowdy’s expansion into Ghana Rwanda, Kenya, the Caribbean etc.
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