Nigerian startup Farmcrowdy is in the news again and this time, they’ve released a mobile app. After a year in operation, Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform has released a new service to better engage it’s customers and patrons alike. Farmcrowdy has fast become a leading figure on the African startup scene with it’s revolutionary approach to agriculture, a sector that is largely going unexplored by most companies.
Nigeria’s agricultural sector is one that has suffered a lot of damage because of the various incidents of social unrest and the oil industry. However with food security fast becoming a pressing issue on the agenda for most African countries, Farmcrowdy is blazing a path through otherwise uncharted waters.
What exactly is Farmcrowdy?
In case you’re still wondering at this point, Farmcrowdy is an agric-tech platform that allows you to invest in agriculture. This they achieve by allowing you to select farms you wish to sponsor. The fund you invest is used to purchase the land, engage the farmer, insure the farmer and farm produce, and seed planting also. After the planting cycle is over, the produce is sold and you get a return on your investment. You can expect to see returns after harvest of 6-25% between a 3-9 month period, depending on what farm type you select. During the farming cycle, you’re also kept in the loop with updates in the form of pictures, text and videos. You even get to choose the type of farm you wish to sponsor. Seems like a rather straightforward process huh??
You can also be rest assured knowing that the money you invest is insured to make sure that you do not incur losses.
In the short period of its existence, the impact has been immense, having worked with close to 2000 small scale farmers in Nigeria, 1000 unique sponsors and about 4000 acres of farmland.
The launch of the app is intended to allow for more engagement and participation by Nigeria’s growing middle class. What this means is that information will be more readily available to sponsors on the go. According to CEO and co-founder, Onyeka Akumah;
“We have launched the Farmcrowdy app to provide an accessible, real-time platform for people on the go, who do not want to miss out on empowering their own communities… Nigeria is a mobile-first society and we had feedback from our sponsors who said they wanted improved access to our farms. They spoke, we listened, and we have now built a platform that suits Nigerians’ preferred means of doing business. – a mobile app. “
It also doesn’t hurt that the app is itself clean and easy to use as well. The app is currently available on the Google playstore with Apple and Microsoft soon to follow suit.
However you look at it, this is ultimately good news for a whole lot of people. The launch of the app has the added benefit of attracting more sponsors. More sponsors mean more investment into the local agricultural industry in Nigeria and more farmers can be brought on board. This investment also ultimately leads to greater productivity and with it greater food security. And once again, there’s a certain attraction to being able to help one’s own self and another person with the bonus of earning a few extra notes on the way.
Just as the ad claims, it is indeed quite literally carrying a farm in your pocket.
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Womenpreneur Digital Hub to Promote Digital Skills & More for MENA Women
The Entrepreneurship Academy of the SANAD Fund for MSME and Womenpreneur Initiative have once again teamed up to champion women’s economic equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In March 2021, the partners launched the Womenpreneur Digital Hub, an online knowledge and resource-sharing platform that aims to expand women’s access to skills-building tools in a time when lockdowns and economic contraction have disproportionately impacted female employment in the region.
The coronavirus crisis has forced many women out of the workplace through a constellation of factors: Economically, it has taken a particularly heavy toll on sectors where women are overrepresented, such as retail, care, and food service. School and daycare closures have added further pressure, with many households placing the responsibility for at-home schooling and childcare solely upon women. As a result, although women in MENA comprise only a quarter of the region’s total workforce, they account for over half of COVID-related job losses.
The Womenpreneur Digital Hub aims to help women regain their economic footing through a three-fold approach. First, online training will be offered free of charge for hub members to hone skills that empower them on the job market, such as financial knowledge, digital literacy, and business management. High-profile speakers will provide insights into current industry trends and tips on accessing career opportunities. Second, the hub will connect users for mutual information and support, experience exchange, and valuable network-building. In this way, the platform intends to accelerate the third factor, which is to open up potential employment paths for those whose careers have been upended by the crisis.
Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, said: “Women’s employment is not only a social justice issue, it is also an economic one. Women’s ability to participate in the workforce not only provides them with financial stability and freedom on an individual level, it also enables an economy to fully open the tap on creativity, entrepreneurship, productivity, and income generation. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy is glad to once again join with Womenpreneur Initiative to advance gender parity as a key to prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Womenpreneur CEO and founder Sana Afouaiz said: “The pandemic provoked a major setback in gender equality and threatens to walk back decades of progress. Yet we can also pivot to grasp the opportunities. As the world entered into lockdown, the transition to online work has created a growing demand for digital jobs. The Womenpreneur Digital Hub is targeted toward equipping women to future-proof their skills and give them valuable knowledge for the employment market. Our aim is to ensure that every woman and girl in MENA has access to the tools that will help her realize her full economic potential.”
Sign up for the hub at: www.womenpreneur-digital.com
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