TechInAfrica — Farm4Me pioneers the first contract farming in Nigeria. Contract farming is all about contracting a farmer to farm for clients and deliver a specified quantity of farm produce to a specified location on a specified date.
Potential clients simply sign up on their website, receive cost total breakdown and projected yield, and profit document. Then they make a decision on the crop and number of hectares and notify Farm4Me for the further handle.
Many agritech startups now in Nigeria are practicing crowd farming. However, Farm4Me stands out in offering contract farming in the country. Crowd farming is pooling together funds to sponsor a farming project and sharing the profit with all the people that participated in the fundraising.
The service agreement is sent to the potential client to study carefully, sign, and then send it back to Farm4Me. The company signs their part of the service agreement and send the final copy to the potential client. Once the contract has been activated, the invoice will be generated and sent to the potential client. After the client makes payment and notifies Farm4Me, the work begins immediately on the farming project. The client is updated on the progress of the farm.
The most outstanding part of what this startup offers is the fact that all their farms are insured by Leadway Assurance to reduce the risk of farm disaster and other losses. Should there be a low yield below the invested capital, Farm4Me undertakes to refund the client’s capital. So the client is shielded from the risk associated with farming.
The startup also undertakes with the permission of the client to sell the farm produce at the prevailing market price and credit the client’s bank account or ship the farm produce to the client’s specified address on a specified date.
The Founder and CEO, Adama J. Adama said, “it covers land leasing, land clearing, land tilling, buying of seeds, planting of seeds, weeding, fertilizer and pesticide application, harvest, packaging, and transportation”.
The most interesting part of this innovative agribusiness is the fact that it creates jobs for landowners, tractor operators, vulnerable women, and youths who engage in farm labor and farm input suppliers.
Regarding the patronage of the contract farming service, Adama stated that they receive on the average 15 sign-ups every day. Since the establishment of the startup nine months ago, it has given direct and indirect jobs to over 20, 000 people.
Adama also expresses that their vision is to build a multibillion-dollar agribusiness company in Nigeria with tangible social impact.
As for how Farm4Me is able to convince Clients to part with hard-earned money, Adama said, “I go the extra mile to build trust and address the fears and doubts of the potential clients. It takes days and weeks of questions and answers. Sharing of my sensitive data like my National Identity card, Police Character Certificate, CAC Certificate, and Leadway Assurance Insurance Certificate. Some go as far as contacting Leadway to find out if we actually insure our farms with them. Some visit our office to interact with us face to face before making payment. We are brutally honest with them. In the end, they pay us to farm for them. We have a good number of clients that have paid us to farm for them.”