Thrive Agric is a Nigerian agricultural startup, using technology to drive change and growth in the agricultural sector, in order to provide small holder farmers with the adequate finance they need to grow their businesses, and offer everyone the chance to invest in agriculture.
The platform was founded in September 2016, and launched publicly early 2017. Thrive Agriculture is designed to crowdfund investments for smallholder farmers and provide funds to them in the form of inputs, technologically driven advisory services and access to markets.
With agriculture often being cited as the topmost alternative, Nigerian online farming and digital agriculture platforms are championing the idea of diversifying an oil-dependent economy, many thanks to the likes of Thrive Agric, Farmcrowdy, Pork Money and more. While more than 80% of farmers in Nigeria are small holder farmers, cultivating a few acres of land to feed their family and sell produce to earn a living, these agro startups are enabling middle-class Nigerians interested in agriculture to help fund these farmers with as low as $200 for a farm unit per cycle, and share profits after harvest on a percentage basis.
The co-founders of Thrive Agric met at the university, where they discovered that the numbers on post-harvest losses were increasingly multiplying, which made them decide to combat this by building a supply chain for hundreds of smallholder farmers to large processing companies. They discovered that farmers had three major challenges, which were finance for their farms, access to better inputs, low yield from their farms because of insufficient data to help improve their yield and access to premium markets. On the other hand, there were urban dwelling Nigerians who would love to venture into agriculture, but are limited with time, land, skills and other constraints, the Thrive Agric crew decided to fix this by building a platform that connects both parties.
“Since inception we have worked with over 1,000 farmers directly and 2,800 farmers indirectly. As at today we have our extension agents present in 11 states and the FCT,” Eje said.
“Uptake has been quite exciting. We have completed three cycles and have built a very passionate team. However we constantly remind ourselves of the market size, which drives us to always push for more.”
Thrive Agric raised funding from the Abuja-based Ventures Platform accelerator last year, and is now actively working on expanding to other markets. It has a 40:40:20 profit-sharing model, with 40 per cent of profits going to farmers, 40 per cent to subscribers, and the startup taking the remaining 20 per cent.
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