looked like the end had arrived for Adewale Fatai's chicken farm. Money was running out and the farm was producing fewer than 2,000 chicks. His family had no funds to lend and Nigeria's banks weren't interested. So he went online. Two years later, Fatai now has 20,000 chickens and a profit.
The reason, FarmCrowdy. It's one of a breed of new peer-to-peer lending companies aiming to match farmers with small investors,>> We're excited that in the last 22 months, we've been able to work with about 7,000 small scale farmers in Nigeria already. Who have cultivated over 8,000 acres of farmland and all close to 600,000 chickens we've been able to raise to date.
We're currently a team of seven that are championing of this new kind of farming without actually be on a farm.>> The companies use videos and photographs to show off farms to prospective investors. They're willing to tie up some cash until harvest time, and then collect a small return.
The investors then decide how much they might want to pour into the farm, typically starting at around $300. That may not sound like much, and it's too small a sum to interest most banks, but it is enough to help keep a small farm going until that harvest. FarmCrowdy and another similar firm Thrive Agric advertise, returns of around 12 to 20% for most investments.
The arrival of these companies comes as Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari tries to revitalize the country's agriculture sector. He's trying to reduce the country's reliance on its oil export industry and also cut down on food imports, which are expensive for consumers. Despite the numerous struggles Nigerian farmers face, investors have raised several million dollars for farmers in a year, so Buhari's plans could come to fruition.