Not everyone who wants to own a farm is able to work the ground and grow crops. Even when they have the funds to set up and operate one, they may be too preoccupied with other concerns to be actively involved on the field.
Transfurd Farms exists to help such people obtain plots of land, set up farms, and manage operations on them. The agricultural development startup also provides an opportunity for young farmers to get their work sponsored by investors who want to fund farms in exchange for a return on their investment.
It’s a business model that’s fairly common with agritech startups in Nigeria. But unlike a number of existing ventures leveraging sponsor-farmer relationships, Transfurd allows its subscribers to acquire land and have crops grown on them. The produce from the land is theirs to sell.
Tolulope Oginni, who founded Transfurd Farms, started off with agriculture after leaving a job with a brewery in 2012. At the time, he had just two acres of land and a lot of hope to go with. Through sustained effort, he’s expanded Transfurd’s holdings to over 50 hectares in a couple of states.
In the course of his work, he found that there was a gap between the farming community and the potential funding sources for them. There were young farmers struggling to scale their operations. These people lived in the predominantly lower income rural communities.
The potential funding for these farmers seemed holed up in the urban centers where there’s some enthusiasm to support the agricultural sector, but very little access to them for persons who had the money to invest.
Transfurd Farms is able to bridge the gap between these two sectors because it’s located closer to the rural farming communities and also leverages digital technology to connect them with the urban centers and other potential funding units across the world.
Anyone who wants a farm set up on their behalf can fill their contact information on the Transfurd website. They will be reached out to by the company’s team, and the process of establishing a site for them will be kicked off. Investors may choose to manage the farms themselves or delegate the responsibility to farmers trained by Transfurd. They can also pool their resources together as a group to fund and maintain farms with the Transfurd platform.
Sponsors can choose a range of crops to be grown on their farms. They also get updates on the progress of work on their site, in pictures or videos. They are free to visit their farms as frequently as they choose.
Furthermore, Transfurd’s interests extend beyond the production of food to value addition and packaging. Thus far, they have been able to put packaged cassava flakes (garri) and local (Ofada) rice on sale in local markets.
Transfurd presently has farms located in Ogun and Lagos states. The farmers who work with it are trained by the company. They intend to expand into other parts of the country in the near future.
Featured image source: Twitter – @transfurdfarms