Have you always desired to make money farming but don’t want to get dirty doing so? It’s now possible with agricultural investment platforms. These platforms provide you with the opportunity to invest in farm projects, earn good returns on investment (ROI) without holding a cutlass or a hoe.
How they Work
Majority of them are crowdfunding platforms where people desiring to invest in agricultural projects go to be connected with farmers who need sponsors. Others operate like typical investment firms. They mobilize funds from the investing public and invest these funds strictly in agro-based ventures and give agreed returns to their depositors
An interested investor (you) visits the digital platform, creates an account and is presented with a list and descriptions of farm projects available for sponsorship. This will include location of farm, minimum amount required to sponsor, the farming cycle and expected rate of return.
On receiving and documenting your investment, the platform provider disburses funds to the farmers and monitors their activities from planting to harvesting. At the end of the farming season, produce is harvested and sold to off-takers.
Proceed of sale is then used to pay the farm sponsor, his capital plus interest. The balance of the proceeds is shared between the platform owners and the farmers in an agreed sharing ratio. In both business models, investors earn guaranteed returns which range from 15 – 45 percent per farming cycle. Some claim to return as high as 80%.
With the uncertainties in the capital market and declining returns in the money market, these agrictech firms have become a go-to place for people seeking high ROI assets to invest in.
Conventional investment classes such as bonds, treasury bills and other fixed securities offer safety. However, with rising inflation, returns on these assets are increasingly becoming unattractive, particularly to the average retail investor with a small amount of money to invest. Money naturally gravitates to where it multiplies the most.
And in the prevailing economic conditions where money is multiplied the most is in unconventional assets and investment vehicles such as those provided by agro based investment portals. Others include cryptocurrency (bitcoin et al) and online forex and derivative trading
Now Let’s get to it.
20 Agricultural Investment Platforms In Nigeria
In no particular order, these are some of the top agri-tech platforms in Nigeria.
This is a member of farmcrowdy family, which is perhaps the first and most popular agriculture focused fintech startup in Nigeria. Crowdyvest It’s an impact driven investment platform which connects investors to various sponsorship opportunities, including it’s parent firm, farmcrowdy.
This platform focuses on helping to achieve sustainable development goals on agriculture and impact sectors as enunciated by the United Nations. With the establishment of crowdyvest, investors no longer sponsor projects through farmcrowdy. All sponsorship are now done through crowdyvest. Both opportunities help you to grow your money on autopilot.
The platform provides farm sponsorship opportunities that are safe, secure and trusted. It also offers opportunities for pooled sponsorship or specific impact projects.
Information on its website shows that Farmsby operates from 41 Woji Road, GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Its focus is on the production, sale and distribution of cash crops which it accomplished through a network of farmers
Thus, farmsby uses the benefits of crowdfunding to mobilize capital for farmers and it claims its reach extends the African continent.
The digital agro investment platform offers two investment packages to its users. These are
a) Standard Investment: Minimum investment under this package is N5,000 and maximum is N500,000. The company promises a return of 50% on this investment package for a cycle of 90 days.
b) The second investment option is the Joint Venture package which requires a minimum investment of N500,000 for 180 days for a return of 75%
#3. Thrive Agric
Perhaps, after farmcrowdy, the next most popular digital agric operator is Thrive Agric. The platform’s business focus is on poultry and rice farming. So investors have the option of either sponsoring a poultry project or a rice farming project.
Their farms are located in Iseyin and Ibadan in Oyo State and Aji, Kura, Warawa and Ajingi in Kano State. Minimum investment on the platform is N10,000 and the rate of returns is graduated from 12% to 20% depending on the principal amount.
Thrive agric says all its farms are insured by Leadway Assurance Company and it has farmed 127,000 acres of farm, raised 4,000,000 birds and produced 170,000 metric tonnes of grains. In its network is over 100,000 farmers.
Payfarmer focusses on cash crop and livestock production, with a network of 647 farmers connected to the platform and receiving capital from over 6,580 investors.
Investors have options of sponsoring farmers in wide areas including cash crops like yam, pepper; livestock such as piggery, poultry as well as catfish farming. Their network of farms are located at places like Lagos, Oyo and Kwara States.
To sponsor a farm project through the Payfarmer platform requires a minimum investment of NGN25,000 for a farming cycle ranging between 5 months to 10 months depending on the type of farm. Returns on Investment ranges from 20% to 32%.
Leadway Assurance provides cover for the farms in the payfarmer network.
Efarms is the platform of Foodbank Growmore Ltd. It’s goal according to the promoters is to provide a linkage between investors and small farm holders, empower African youths with the knowledge and skill to run successful agro-business.
Investors have the choice of sponsoring different farms that align with their interest. This cut across crop production and life stock: maize, cassava, soya beans, tomato, rice and pepper farms. Others are fish, poultry and pig farms.
Projects in the farm marketplace range between NGN45,000 to NGN72,000 for returns on investment ranging between 15% and 16% per cycle.
#6. Farm Funded
Farm funded concentration is rice farming, milling and processing. Their rice farm is located in Nasarawa State. You have the option of choosing to fund either a farm project, processing or an integrated project.
Minimum investment on the platform is N20,000 with a ROI of 20% for a period of 8 months which is their farming cycle.
For their integrated farm project, minimum investment required is N100,000 for a period of 24 months and return on investment of 80%.
This firm was founded by a crop of young entrepreneurs led by Jesse Osiobo, who used to be an IT support staff at NNPC.
Farmcart is focussed on livestock production and fish farming. At the time of writing, their farms which are located in Ogun State comprise of 6 catfish farms and two poultry farms. These farms are managed by Farmcrart’s experienced staff with the support of local farmers and its financial partners.
Investors sponsor farm projects of interest and get returns ranging between 14% to 30% per farming cycle. Farmcart farms are insured by Leadway Assurance.
#8. Smart Farm
Smart Farm promises 25% return on investment, with no hidden charges and claims to be endorsed by top agric focussed organisations in Africa. In just 3 easy steps you start investing and earning high returns. Projects in which investors can put money in include: maize farm, melon farm, cassava farm and sesame farm, most of which are located in Oyo State.
Farm4Me is a platform of Vistawood Innovations. It is not a typical crowdfunding initiative like most other platforms. Rather they farm for their investors on contract basis. Their focus is on cash crop production across a couple of farms including melon, sorghum, paddy rice, soya beans and sesame farms.
Their farms are located across many states in Nigeria including Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Delta, Oyo, Benue, Ondo, Katsina, Kano, Niger, Kaduna and Jigawa.
Using the farm4me platform, a prospective investor selects a project of interest, signs an agreement, makes payment and the farm4me farmers will get to work for the investor in line with the contract. They will cultivate, plant, harvest and sell the produce on behalf of the investor.
Farm4me promises a return of 73% or more within a farming cycle which is usually 6 months based on the type of crops they cultivate. In addition, this platform promises to return an investor’s money 100% in the event of low crop yield or market price crashes.
#10. Ez Farming
Ez Farming is an agricultural focused crowdfunding platform that uses technology to connect investors globally with local commercial farmers. The platform accelerates farming by providing African farmers access to finance and market.
Ez Farming has operations in Nigeria, South Africa and Siera-Leone as well as Canada, USA and Europe. Since launching in 2018, Ez Farming has mobilized about 600 micro-lenders and got to invest over $600,000 in about 120 small holder farmers who are also scaling very fast.
Porkmoney is Nigeria’s first agricultural investment technology platform that focuses on pig farming and its value chain. Thus apart from its investment in pig farms where it has maintained a leadership position since inception in 2017, Porkmoney also processes pork as well as pork based sausages and bacon. These products are sold in leading supermarkets and retail outlets across Nigeria via a thriving franchise, Porkyum.
Porkmoney describes investors on their platform as partners. Partners funds are thus used to sponsor pig farms; from the purchase of pigs and their breeding to maturation. The pigs are thereafter slaughtered, processed, packaged and sold within a cycle of 11 months.
There are different plans or levels of partnership depending on capital outlay. At the end of 11 months, partners earn between 15 – 30 percent returns on their investment based on their plan of choice.
Porkvest is a pltaform of Jadek Agro Connect, a commercial pig farming enterprise based in Lagos. The platform provides opportunity to investors around the world to become part of their commercial pig farming enterprise by sponsoring a project and earning high ROI of between 20 – 30% within a farming cycle depending on a chosen plan.
There are three investment plans for investors to choose from. These are the 2 pig package, 4 pig package and 10 pig package. The entire project cycle encompasses buying of pigs, breeding/rearing them to maturity, processing and packaging for sale. All the investment packages are based on a farming cycle of 9 months.
The promoters of this platform pride themselves as people who plant seed for hope and happiness. They raise funds for farmers on one hand. And on the hand provides the opportunity for people to invest and earn good returns on their money.
Some of their projects which are usually available for sponsorship include Palm Kernel Oil (PKN) Processing, Fish Farm, Maize Farm and Rice Farm. They also trade in commodity tradies.
Minimum investment on the platform is NGN25,000/unit and returns on investment ranges from 15% to 22.5% depending on the plan or farm you choose to sponsor.
Farmsponsore focuses on poultry farming through which they are promoting food security in Africa. Users can choose to sponsor a variety of projects directly. Or join a group to fund a farm and earn a return of 15%. Each farming cycle is 12 weeks (three months).
This means if you invest N100,000 in a farmspore poultry farm, you get NGN15,000 at the end of 90 days. As at the time of creating this post, Farmsponsor has 1,000 farms, 300 farmers and 4,000 investors and has done over 33 cycles.
Farmcenta powers a variety of agro based business projects including rice farming, cattle rearing, ginger processing and maize farming. Investors can sponsor a farm starting with the sum of NGN70,000 and reap a return on investment from between 15% and 30% depending on the project sponsored.
This one of the agricultural investment platforms that is promoted by a crop of young entrepreneurs who are on a mission to improve rural farming by providing farmers with the tools, technology, fund and market to grow their farm work and increase food production in Africa.
ePoultry is a platform of Takvor Resources prides itself as Nigeria’s first digital poultry investment platform. They are leveraging on technology to provide funding, skill and access to market for smallholder poultry farmers .
And at the same time give low and middle income earners the chance to grow their income by sponsoring these smallholder poultry farmers with as little as NGN50, 0000. Investors earn as much as 40% ROI over a period of one year.
#17. Nigeria Farmers Group
This agricultural investment platform that is involved in the entire agricultural value chain; from crop production to processing. So you can invest in livestock, crop production or agro processing.
They have different investment programmes to suit the needs of their users. These are: Annual Investment in either crops or livestock farms over a period of 12 months. Special Investment Plan is their short term programme that draws from supply chain agreement with off-takers. Life Time Investment Plan allows you to invest for a long term and earn recurring income over the period.
#18. Farm Partner
Farm Partner gives investors the opportunities to partner with it in the funding of livestock and crop production projects in Nigeria.
Their areas of interest are in cattle rearing and meat production as well as cassava farming. Investing in their 100 acre cassava farm in Kano state attracts a return of 12% while their 300 head cattle farm promises a return of 15%.
Investors have three alternative plans to choose from. The Balanced Plan allows an investor to invest across projects; the Higher Turnover Plan allows you to invest in specific projects with multiple turnover in a year. And there is the Higher Return Plan which offers the highest ROI on the Farm Partner platform – 15%.
This agricultural investment platform gives the option of sponsoring farms or investing in commodities trading. It is a simple but secure platform that offers viable agri business opportunities that you can do from your home.
You invest in a project of interest, Agropartnership uses a network of their partners to farm, process and sell. You reap your profits or interest as agreed.
The portal promises healthy returns, short cycles of between 3 – 6 months, and low investment.
Farminvest says it’s the newest digital agricultural investment platform in Nigeria. The platform helps farmers to get funding for their projects as well as have access to the market for their produce.
Investors on this platform are provided with an array of agricultural investment packages ranging from rice farm projects, poultry farm, Goat, Ram and Cattle fattening, melon farm and agro commodity trading.
Returns on Investment here starts from 5% monthly depending on the package and goes up to 40%.
How Safe Is it to Invest In These Agricultural Investment Platforms
You may want to know how safe your money is with these agricultural investment platforms. My response: there is no investment without some risks.
There are two ways you can lose money in investing generally: loss of capital due to value erosion caused by market vagaries. This is very common with investment in volatile financial markets: stocks, currency, commodities and CFD instruments.
The other way you may lose money in investing is negative yield. Here you may not lose your capital but the impact of inflation on your return makes it unattractive. This is particularly so with fixed income securities like bonds, treasury bills, etc or your regular savings and fixed deposit in the bank.
Now to agricultural investment platforms. These platforms offer fixed returns and so the risk associated with fixed income investment may apply. The main risk, however, is in the ability of the companies to continually meet their obligations.
This is because all fintech companies are private initiatives; they don’t have a credit rating and they are largely unregulated.
There’s therefore, no guarantee that they will not default. Agro business in itself is risky. Environmental factors can affect crop yield and diseases can cause livestock to die
But there’s an insurance to guarantee safety of deposit
Yes, all these agricultural investment platforms partner with insurance companies to provide cover. And this should provide some comfort.
However agricultural insurance policies provide cover for the farms and the assets therein: livestock, crops, etc. In other words, the insurance policies don’ t necessarily cover your investment in these firms. One of leading insurers which provide agricultural insurance cover for most of the agricultural investment platforms has this disclaimer on their website.
“…. kindly be informed that we DO NOT guarantee safety of your funds if lost due to agri-business failure in which you have willingly invested. Before taking the risk of investment, kindly contact an independent investment advisor or broker for advice and information”
What does this mean?
The insurance policy only covers unexpected perils in the farm. And the insurance company pays compensation to the agric-tech company in line with the insurance contract.
For instance, an agric tech platform raises say NGN50 million through crowd funding and invests NGN30 million in farm projects. The insurance is on NGN30 million and this is the extent of compensation that the insurance company will pay to the insured; in this case the firm, not you the investor.
So in deciding on which of these agricultural investment platforms to invest in ensure you assess the credibility of the company and individuals behind the platform. It’s a much more important factor than the returns and advertisement of insurance as comfort.