Nigerian agri-tech startup Farmcrowdy has launched an agricultural commodities marketplace to connect local farmers with buyers in the first of a series of new product launches.
Formed in 2016, the Farmcrowdy platform connects small scale farmers across Nigeria with access to finance sourced from individuals and corporates via its online platform, and has so far empowered over 12,000 farmers across 14 states.
Farmcrowdy recently raised additional seed funding of US$1 million as it prepares to broaden its offering with the launch of the Farmcrowdy Group, of which the Farmcrowdy sponsorship platform is just one subsidiary.
The second subsidiary is the newly-launched FarmGate Africa, which gives major processors and international buyers the opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters. The platform seeks to bring farmers closer to processors and off-takers by eliminating the layers of intermediaries.
“We recognise the huge gap that has existed for the longest time now in the agricultural value chain as a result of an unstructured marketplace where prices are not regulated, and difficulties are experienced because product specifications cannot be met,” the Farmcrowdy Group said.
“Operating with the core values of the Farmcrowdy Group, FarmGate Africa is the solution to the problems facing market access such as ineffective communication, duplicate products, unregulated prices, poor after-sales service and more.”
FarmGate Africa focuses on identifying major processors and international buyers for certain commodities, and building relationships with production clusters and local farmers. It then allows major processors to place orders via its platform, which aggregates commodities. FarmGate Africa handles the delivery of commodities, and offers after sales support.
It has already traded with reputable multinationals and international buyers, with the commodities traded including sorghum, maize, soyabeans, and beef. It is also scheduled to trade in sesame, soyabeans, and ginger with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The FarmGate Africa team is led by managing director Kenneth Obiajulu.