Crowdy Group Farm, a tech startup company that is supporting smallholders through crowdfunding have developed a farming model that allows several investors to financially support the farmers with as little as USD 25 towards a farming project and earn from the proceeds together.
The model dubbed peer to peer is opposed to high-interest bank loans that small-scale farmers have been shying away from and that still makes finance one of the big challenges in the sector.
According to Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), financing is a major barrier to growth in Africa’s agriculture sector, particularly when it comes to smallholder farms. Interest rates by commercial banks in several countries are extremely high, up to 47 percent.
In addition, the banks also ask for collateral which limits the loan amount, and in most cases, banks are located in urban centers which further limits credit accessibility by rural farmers.
“We understand the problems farmers are going through especially when it comes to financial support. That is why we are looking for interested partners or investors who can support our chosen farming projects for as little as USD25 per a single farming unit though there is a chance to purchase as many units as possible,” said Peter Wafula, Crowdy Group Farm LTD.
The company then oversight the funds through its platform and provide technical support to farmers and ensure that investors receive their sponsorship back with some profits after sales of the produce contracted buyers.
“Our role also will be to make sure you follow up with the chosen farming project through regular updates on our android application or web app updates section and organizes for any contributor who wants to visit the farm through the android app,” said Wafula.
Currently, the firm has a soybeans farming project for a farmer in Kirinyaga County which it is receiving contributions from interested investors.
Furthermore, the firm has identified a buyer with a purchasing contract in place aiming to plant 50 acres of land which the farmer is providing.
“By supporting this project, investors will enable Crowdy Group Farm LTD to realize its goals, which is to support the farmer who does not have the resources such as finances among others besides generating some profits from their contribution.”
How to work with Crowdy Group Farm LTD
“Our rules of engagement are very simple,” said Wafula, “We notify our partners about their contracts directly to their emails indicating whatever to sponsor any farm unit when and how much they will get after the farming period.”
The amount is sent directly through the same channel used to pay for the farm units. In case of any change, partners will need to notify the company for updates.
“Our process is paperless making it easy for our sponsors to make inquiries, register, make a contribution, and receive updates and dividends at the end of the project. The process also enables investors who are outside the country to participate without necessarily visiting our officers.”
All an investor needs is to download the company’s Android application on Google Play store “Crowdy Group Farm” or visit the website “https://www.crowdygroupfarm.com” to register an account and confirm vital details such as your email and mobile number.
After that, they are required to select the farm project they would want to sponsor, pick the number of units and then proceed to pay for it in the cart section.
The system also gives room for one to invite a friend via a referral section on our application and once the friend(s) invest, the invitee becomes part of that farming project and gets notified on how much he or she will receive after the end of the project.
Source: Zablon (Farmbiz Africa)