Nigerian agritech startup, Farmcrowdy, received the Digital Business of the Year award in Africa in recognition of the platform’s efforts to empower the agricultural community through tech.
Launched in 2017, the U.K.-based and corporate-sponsored annual business awards were created to celebrate, honour and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of African organizations and entrepreneurs.
Farmcrowdy provides a platform that connects working class people as farm sponsors with farmers in order to increase food production while promoting youth participation in the agricultural sector. The startup also provides insurance cover for farmers while helping to boost investment in farming, which enables food security and job creation.
The Nigerian agritech startup has raised $1.4 million dollars in seed funding from local and international investors including Cox Enterprises, Social Capital, Techstars Ventures, according to Techcrunch.
Much of that funding has gone towards assisting Farmcrowdy to scale its business across the country, with the startup now operating in 10 Nigerian states, with plans for expansion into further regions within the country, as well as across borders into other African nations.
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In its two years of operation, Farmcrowdy has empowered more than 7,000 farmers while providing thousands of Nigerians with a digital way to become involved in agriculture through sponsorship, with profits paid at harvest time.
This has translated to over 8,000 acres of farmland being used to plant maize, rice and cassava, with over 600,000 chickens raised during these two years, according to Techmoran.
In winning the Digital Business of the Year prize, Farmcrowdy topped a selection of African tech firms, including e-commerce platforms Konga, Jumia, Zando, Dressmeoutlet, Mall for Africa and Dealdey, fellow agritech platform, WeFarm, fintech nominee, Interswitch Payment Gateway; and Delvv.io, South Africa’s branding and refinement partners.
Empowering farmers across the African continent is his goal, said Onyeka Akumah, founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy
As Africa’s most dominant economic sector, agriculture accounts for 15 percent of the continent’s GDP, or over $100 billion annually, according to McKinsey.
An estimated 70 percent of Africa’s people depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood, FT reports. Tech is unlocking a great deal of potential within this important sector through disruption, with agritech startups providing the solutions to challenges that have traditionally held the farming industry back.