Agric firm to facilitate N5.7bn loan for 25,000 farmers

Agric firm to facilitate N5.7bn loan for 25,000 farmers

An agritech company, Farmcrowdy Limited (FC), says it intends to support 25,000 farmers across the country with a N5.7 billion loan through its Structured Financing policy.


Mr Oluwakotanmi Ojo, the Chief Financial Officer and Business Leader, FC Structured Finance, said this at the firm’s fourth anniversary in Lagos.


Ojo said that 90 per cent of farmers in the country could not access loan facilities as a result of their inability to meet certain criteria set by commercial banks.


According to him, this is a threat to food security and food sufficiency in the country.


“Some of the challenges facing the farmers include lack of information, high interest rates, lack of access to funds, among others.


“Farmcrowdy Structured Finance has created a business solution to help farmers with access to loan, provision of affordable interest rates, farmers’ inclusion, market access, equipment and third-party collaboration for the farmers.


“We want to impact farmers with the lowest single-digit interest loans with the provision of N5.7 billion to finance 25,000 farmers nationwide.


“We have currently cultivated 17,000 acres of lands.


“This will enhance production of farmers and adequately lower the prices of food,” he said.


Besides, Mr Christopher Abiodun, a Co-Founder and Chief Lead of the Technology and Data Arm, said the firm had built tools and platforms to support the agriculture sector.


According to him, the tools will help farmers to predict yields, profits and identify markets, among others.


Abiodun said: “We have built input disbursement apps, farmers app, Farmcrowdy trader app and e-commerce platforms.


“We are committed to impacting the farmers’ lives, and livelihoods positively,” he said.


In his remark, Obiajuru Luya, the Business Leader of Farmcrowdy Aggregation, said that the model was to ease farmers’ access to urban markets and adequately reduce the effects of middlemen in the value chain.


Luya said that the model would use a tech-powered network of agro-commodity aggregation centres, involving about 102 centres in eight states, to aggregate fresh commodities; from farmers to end buyers and produce processors.


According to her, this model will also help farmers with the provision of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).


Also speaking, Mrs Linda Obi, Business Leader of Farmcrowdy Foods, said that it was an integrated fresh food supply ecosystem, with over 800 customers and over 3,000 orders recorded in the pilot 22 weeks.


Obi said that customers were provided with traceable, high-end quality and fresh foods when they made purchases via the Farmcrowdy Foods app.


Onyeka Akuma, the Founder of Farmcrowdy, said that the firm was set up to help Nigeria’s 38 million small-scale farmers to get access to funding, technical knowledge, and expertise that they needed to sell their produce.


He said that about 90 per cent of the farmers were facing the challenge of how to get their produce to the market.


Akuma recalled that the firm initially faced some challenges in its first year, saying that the firm later began to gain international and funding attention to raise enough funds for its programmes for poultry and cassava farmers, among others.


He said that the company wanted to aid farmers to overcome their main challenge of getting access to finance to support their businesses and make marginal profits.

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