Farmcrowdy group launches farmgate Africa to assist rural farmers
CEO of Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah
To bridge gaps between rural farmers and the market place, the Farmcrowdy Group (FCG) has launched a new subsidiary, Farmgate Africa, a technology-driven agro-trading market place for agriculture commodities in the continent.
Established in 2016, Farmcrowdy becomes Nigeria’s foremost leading agri-tech company, empowering over 12,000 farmers across 13 states; reared close to two million birds, cultivated over 16,000 acres with over 35,000 farm units sold.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Farmgate Africa, Kenneth Obiajulu disclosed during the launch, that to bridge the gap, the initiative will provide major processors and international buyers opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters through technology.
He added that the subsidiary would also serve the purpose of building relationships with local farmers and enable major processors to place orders through the platform without having to go through various layers of intermediaries, as a way of closing the gap in agriculture value chain caused by market access.
Obiajulu said: “In addition, it helps with aggregating the commodities from smallholder farmers while paying attention to the unique specifications of the buyers for specific produce and ensuring the delivery of the commodity to major processors or the international buyer’s agent.
“Our business model is one that brings the farmers closer to the processors and off-takers by eliminating several layers of intermediaries. By doing this, Farmgate optimises market access to African farmers and also improves their income by at least 30 per cent.”
The Guardian learnt that based on the operational expertise provided by the Farmcrowdy Group since its establishment, Farmgate Africa, will over the next two years, focus on deploying funds across various market points, which will focus on beef processing and developing aggregation capacities across maize, soybean, sorghum and dried-split ginger for markets across Nigeria, UAE and UK.
Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy Group, Onyeka Akumah said the launch gives the Farmcrowdy Group huge joy with the expectations placed on them to continue to innovate and build new solutions driven by technology to finance agriculture. “We have received a lot of feedback from farmers and major agro buyers who need to fund market access to agro-commodities, but are constantly held back because the market place is unstructured. Farmgate Africa is our response to this need.
“As we launch Farmgate Africa today, we have tirelessly worked for the past six months with the team to build relationships with blue-chip companies in and outside Nigeria, extend our relationships with thousands of farmer-networks across the country and now, we are set to launch to the market with a strong team behind the idea.”
He added that Farmgate Africa will allow every day Nigerians fund the process of buying and selling what farmers have already harvested, noting that the development will give every farmer that has high quality farm produce, the opportunity to sell to major buyers through its website. In his goodwill message, a representative of Sterling Bank, Joshua Okoli described the initiative as a mustard seed. He added that Farmgate Africa keyed into the bank’s core areas of focus this year, expressing his joy for being part of the launch.