Agriculture has evolved from what it used to be, farmers are now enlightened on the use of technology and getting trained on the technical-know how of machines.(some courtesy of FarmAgric and other agri-tech companies). Agriculture is now more recognized and attractive as a result of technology and mechanization. Youths, farmers and non-farmers are now delving into agriculture. The use of technology saves farmers energy, time and loss to diseases while providing bountiful harvest for them.
The current government has placed a ban on the importation of certain goods into the country and this has encouraged the use of local produce. Many agri-tech companies – FarmAgric, Farmcrowdy, FarmKart e.t.c have taken advantage of the technological advancement and government policy by investing heavily in agriculture and creating a niche for non-farming farmers, this has encouraged youths to engage in agriculture either as a full time job or as an investment. The following are some Agri-tech start-ups that are worthy of investments in 2019.
This is Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform, established in 2016 which is focused on connecting farm sponsors with real farmers in order to increase food production while promoting youth participation in agriculture. It uses the sponsors funds to secure the lands, engage the farmers and ensure that farm produce complete the full cycle. Farmers and sponsors all receive a percentage of the profits on harvest. Their ROI ranges between 8% -15% across their farmers which include poultry, rice, maize, cattle and soybean.
Farmagric is a new agri-tech company making waves in the Agric value chain. They are focused on empowering farmers by providing them with all necessary inputs required to produce maximum yield. They link farmers to investors.They give the best ROI (which ranges between 16.5% – 17.5%) on their farms compared to all other agri-tech companies. Asides returns, they provide other benefits to their investors. FarmAgric is also involved in charity and trainings to people in IDP camps.
3. THRIVE AGRIC
This is another Agri-tech company empowering farmers. It was founded on the basis of 3 major challenges facing farmers: Insufficient Finance, Mechanization and Market. They work with farming communities and drive real change by connecting farmers to investors while also providing access to market. They also deploy technology (data-driven advisory services) to increase yield and productivity as extension workers use an app which gives daily information; farmers also get automated messages. Their ROI ranges between 8% -20% across their farms.
FarmKart is an agri-tech platform supporting local farmers and also encouraging youth participation in Agriculture. But unlike other Agri-tech platforms,they are focused mainly on livestock farming which include catfish and poultry. They have up to 30% ROI.
This is similar to Farmcrowdy in their mode of operation; they connect under-financed farmers with investors. The investor puts a certain amount of money on a farm and after the whole farming cycle, he’s paid both the capital and interest. They also provide agricultural advices through SMS to local farmers who have no access to Internet across rural areas in Nigeria.
The future of agriculture looks very promising in Nigeria with technology. If we have more companies like FarmAgric, FarmKart and ThriveAgric come up, more farmers will be reached across villages and small towns. Investors will also be availed nunerous benefits.