Throughout the year, we have written a lot about agricultural technology and innovation. From livestock insurance advances, to hemp, there is much going on in the world of African agriculture. All developed economies had a strong agricultural foundation before they industrialised and grew. Feeding your population is pivotal in maintaining economic growth, and developing a skilled youth. Nutrition even plays a big role in education, with students that are not well fed, often lagging behind others. Inventive Africa sees the importance of innovation across all sectors, but without agriculture, none of the other sectors can flourish. Africa has the potential to become the world’s breadbasket. Population growth in Africa, and the world in general, is putting a strain on food supplies, but the sheer size of the African continent suggests that it should be able to take a lot of the food production burden and also increase exports!
Whilst their has been a boost in investment in African agriculture in recent years, it is small holder farmers that continue to feed the continent. We cam across an app that supports Nigerian farmers, and helps them to grow their farms. Roughly 70% of Nigerians are involved in agriculture but agriculture only makes up 28% of the county’s GDP. With some investment and support farmers would be able to increase their efficiency and also start to utilise the huge amount of land that is not being cultivated. (50 million hectares).
One platform in Nigeria aims to bring investment to these farmers. FarmCrowdy works in a similar manner to #CowFunding. It enables Nigerians to get involved in farming, without even picking up a ho or planting a seed. Farmcrowdy market their platform by encouraging people to invest their spare funds in agriculture, to ensure food security and make a sustainable investment. Once you enter the platform, you are given the choice of which kind of farm you want to invest in. You may be interested in Maize farming, or cassava, or even fish or chicken farming. You make your choice, and select how big your crop should be, or how many chickens you want. Then the farmers get to work, whilst you are in the comfort of your home. After harvest, the investor is then paid his money, with a profit.
On their website, the promise a 13-25% return on investment. An attractive prospect for any investor. But, this is not just about making a profit. This platform keeps 1500 farmers in jobs, giving them a livelihood and securing the future of their farms, by expanding them and increasing the quality and quantity of their output as well as using land that was not previously farmed.
The investment covers the rental of the plots of land, insurance, seeds, (feed for the livestock) irrigation and transportation to market. There is also regular updates on your farm, so you can track the progress from your house or office.
Schemes like this are important to continue to grow the African agricultural sector. Many farmers still rely on rainfall and do not properly irrigate their farms. These investments enable new techniques and efficient farming. I have seen many farms fail simply due to bad luck, but this can help farmers make their own luck. It will be interesting to see whether the promised profits are actually realised at the end, and if adverse farming conditions effect any of the farms. We will be following a few and will update you along the way.
If you know any innovative farming technology in Africa, or would like to be a guest blogger please get in contact with us on Twitter @InventiveAfrica or email, and please also share the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook