The Top 10 Agricultural Start-Ups in Nigeria
A farmer at harvest | © dghchocolatier / PixabayNigerians are known as enterprising people globally. Both at home and abroad,they have been able to make the best of every situation and succeed indifferent areas: academia, business, arts, and in many other endeavours. Inagriculture, the younger generation, especially millennials, are taking thenation by storm. Here is a list of the top 10 agricultural start-ups inNigeria.Kerekusk Rice is the venture that took Lagos-born-and-bred Rotimi Williams toNasarawa state. In spite of initial challenges, he persisited and was able tomake his venture profiatble. He partners with his host community, whichprovided him with 45,000 hectares of land, making Kerekusk Rice the second-largest rice farm in Nigeria. In an interview, Rotimi advocates that thereneeds to be more government intervention to assist small-scale rice farmers,to make their ventures profitable for them, too.Rice farm | © Pexels / PixabayFarmcrowdy, founded by Onyeka Akumah, is Nigeria’s first digital agricultureplatform that focuses on connecting farm sponsors with real farmers in orderto increase food production. Farmcrowdy has been able to empower farmersacross Nigeria by getting them access to funding, quality seeds and capacitybuilding for improved yield. The platform has also encouraged young people toget involved in farming, as well as bringing on board people who may beinterested in farming but do not have the time or skills.Thrive Agric Nigeria is a start-up that helps smallholder farmers obtain thebest inputs and machinery for their farms, as well as data-driven advisoryservices and access to premium markets. Uka Eje, the founder of Thrive Agric,took up the challenge after leaving school, when he discovered the majorchallenges faced by farmers in rural areas. There were three major challenges:insufficient access to finance, mechanization and advisory services, as wellas markets. The start-up built a platform that connected these farmers toinvestors, and today Thrive Agric is a success story, improving the lives ofthousands of local farmers.A farmer at harvest | © dghchocolatier / PixabayNasir Yammama from Katsina State, founded Verdant Agritech to support farmersby providing a mobile platform by which farmers can obtain information onmarkets, financial services and support, as well as extension sevices thatteach innovative farming practices. The Verdant app connects all thestakeholders in the agricultural value chain and it is aimed at maximing thebenefits of agriculture for everyone, especially the farmers, who still livein poverty in many parts of Nigeria and Africa. Yammama was one of fiveNigerians on Forbes Africa’s list of 30 under 30.Psaltry International was founded by Yemisi Iranloye in 2005 to marketcassava. The agribusiness, however, expanded its operations into farmdevelopment and production of food-grade starch from cassava. Psaltrycurrently supplies food-grade starch to companies all over Nigeria. Thecompany also has an outgrower scheme that benefits about 2,000 farmers,labourers, processors, and other players in the cassava-to-starch supplychain.The brainchild of Angel Adelaja, Fresh Direct is an organic farming start-upthat uses new solutions such as vertical farming and hydroponics (growingplants without soil and with little water). The urban farming method pioneeredby Adelaja is aimed at making farming accessible to everyone to produce food,even in cities. She created a stackable container farm using shippingcontainers, where one conatiner can produce vegetables grown on one-and-a-halfacres of land. Fresh Direct also creates low-tech affordable technolgies fromindeginous materials to make farming simpler. Adelaja won first prize at TheVenture Search organized by Chivas Regal in Nigeria in 2015.Simply Green Juices is Nigeria’s first farm-to-bottle, organic, cold-pressedjuice company. The company grows all the fruits and vegetables used in theproduction of its various juices, at a farm in Oyo state. The CEO of SimplyGreen, Sola Ladoja, stated that his desire is to reduce the importation offruits and vegetables into Nigeria, since most of them can be grown locally.The agricultural entrepreneur started the business when he saw that there wereno good-quality green juices in Nigeria, compared to New York where he wasliving previously. He stated further that he started the business withN250,000 (US$700) in 2014 and the business has now grown into millions ofnaira.Farmfields Agro-Allied Services, founded by Zanau Hassan Maikasuwa, providessupport for local farmers and agricultural investors in both crop and animalproduction. The start-up supports farmers who plan to scale up from peasantfarming to commercial farming by providing extension services, quality seeds,access to finance, access to mechanization, and general advisory services onnew and innovative methods in farming. Maikasuwa also helped to launch aNetwork Agropreneur project for women farmers.Farm | © clarrycola / PixabayHoneysuckles PTL Ventures was founded by Mosunmola Umoru with the aim ofselling processed agricultural produce to food retail chains and restaurants.However, inadequate supply and low quality of such food items prompted her tostart her own farm and food supply chain. Today, Honeysuckles produces highquality food products that are well packaged from its own farms and ponds.Umoru now focuses on training and mentoring young Nigerians who want toventure into agricultural food production like she did.Releaf was founded by Isaiah Udotong, Ikenna Nzewi, and Uzoma Ayogu. Itfocuses on using technology to accelerate agricultural-based industrialisationin Nigeria. Its present major project is the production of palm kernel oil(PKO) which is still currently inadequately supplied to companies that use itas raw material. Releaf has a ‘smart’ factory located in Ikot Ukana Village,Obot Akara LGA in Akwa Ibom State, which has a 25-tons-per-day crushingcapacity and aims to source and buy 60 tons of palm kenels from farmersweekly. The factory uses different algorithms in its operations, which ensuresan efficient digital-industrial factory. In 2017, Releaf was selected for theSilicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator, and received US$120,000 infunding.5 AgTech startups breathing life into Nigeria’s Agricultural sectorMost developed economies have mechanised farming through special interventionsand good planning, while most Nigerian farmers still plod along with obsoletefarming techniques. Thankfully, in recent times, there has been an increase inthe penetration and adoption of mobile and Internet innovations in Nigeria’sAgricultural space. With Agriculture going beyond factors like climate and soil conditions,several Nigerian AgTech or Agricultural Technology startups are springing upwith near real-time information and innovative solutions.Fresh Direct Nigeria is an eco-friendly social enterprise that producespremium organic produce through hydroponics and community action. The startupprovides exquisitely grown organic fruits, vegetables and meats and processedend products, brings together communities and advanced technology to improveagricultural yields for sustainable and profitable agricultural enterprise.Fresh Direct is geared to become the first and only indigenous producer ofhydroponics technology as well as set the standard for equitable, eco-friendlyagricultural production in Nigeria.Thrive Agric is an agricultural crowdfunding service that gives individualsthe opportunity to invest in agriculture without having to own a farm land orhave knowledge of agricultural processes.The Thrive Agric team are passionate about driving agriculture. They get fundsfor farmers,who then get a predictable ROI on harvest. Thrive Agric is backedby the team at Ventures platform, and a product of Ycombinator’s startupschool with a mission to ensure food security.Releaf is a B2B marketplace that connects African businesses to verifiedbuyers and suppliers they can trust. In Africa, few businesses use B2Bwebsites often due to rampant scammers. Releaf is unlocking the tremendousvalue finasteridehair.com African trade has to offer by taking offlineinteractions and digitizing them through our online platform. All businesseson the platform go through a verification process.The startup is aimed at tackling the difficulty that producers face inobtaining buyers of their products by connecting producers to consumersthrough an online platform. Releaf believes that building trust in onlinetransactions will massively increase transaction volume and efficiency acrossthe continent.Growsel provides investors and farmers a meeting point to work towards afruitful harvest, where the investor can get up to 15 to 30% of his investmentas profit. The farmers, on the other hand, can now have quick access to fundsfor their farming projects and also get exposed to best global agriculturalpractices, as the company doesn’t seem to be taking chances with quality andthe implementation of standard farming practices.For those who are looking to get involved in agriculture, either as farmers orinvestors, Growsel offers a wonderful opportunity to invest in foodproduction.Farmcrowdy is a platform that gives Nigerians the opportunity to participatein Agriculture by selecting the kind of farms they want to sponsor. It usesthe sponsor’s funds to secure the land, engage the farmer, plant the seeds,insure the farmers and farm produce, complete the full farming cycle, sell theharvest and then pay the farm sponsor a return on their sponsorship.While this farm process is ongoing, the farm sponsors are able to keep trackof the full-cycle by getting updates in text, pictures and videos.Share your thoughts!Top 10 Agribusiness Companies in Nigeria Agribusiness in Nigeria is booming in recent times due to the increasedawareness of the need for food security and sustainable food production in thecountry. Some agribusiness companies in Nigeria have risen to this and madetremendous strides in the Nigerian agribusiness industry.These companies have exploited technology and innovations, an understanding ofthe people and the drive to meet a need/impact lives to build a boomingindustry in the most populous African nation. They have not just thrived forsolving problems, they have also impacted a great number of people to a betterlivelihood directly and indirectly.
Top Agribusiness Companies in Nigeria
In no particular order, here is our list of the top 10 agribusiness companiesin Nigeria;
Flour Mills of Nigeria
Flour Mills of Nigeria is a household name in the Nigerian agri-space. Poweredby a vision to be the leading food and agro-allied group in Africa, FlourMills of Nigeria has interests in almost all the departments of Agriculture.As a result, FMN farms and work with farmers across the value chains.Their strides in Agri-inputs, processing, offtaking and farming are designedto produce and supply products of superior quality and value to the market,thereby, enriching the lives of consumers, customers, communities, employeesand all stakeholders.Flour Mills of Nigeria has been around for a long time and their impact in theNigerian agri-space is indelible.
OLAM Nigeria’s drive cannot be hidden! With offices and operational unitsacross all geopolitical zones of Nigeria, OLAM has a wide and growing networkof farmers, suppliers, wholesalers, local buying agents (LBAs), customers andservice providers. Today, these networks encompass approximately 500,000farmers and have created tens of thousands of jobs in indirect employment.OLAM’s quest to create living landscapes where prosperous farmers and thrivingcommunities live in harmony with healthy eco-systems seems to scoring points.In 2013, OLAM invested in a 10,000-hectare farm with integrated mill whichdirectly employs 950 people from the surrounding communities. The farm alsosupports an ‘out-grower program’ whereby surrounding rice-growing communitiesare supported by the Olam farm with training, pre-finance, fertiliser, andseeds in order to improve their paddy yields. Currently, 7,000 farmers areengaged in the program aimed at producing rice for the domestic market therebyboosting self-sufficiency.
Babban Gona is one of the biggest aggregator companies in the country. Theyprovide four key services required for smallholder farmer members to besuccessful including Financial Services, Agricultural Input Services, Training& Development for farmer groups and Marketing Services. These services arerendered in the hopes of helping 1 million smallholder farmer members makemore money by 2025.Another thing we appreciate about Babban Gona is that they serve their membersin ways that minimize negative environmental impacts. This is a win forsustainable agriculture.
Stallion Group is a respected rice-processing company. They go further toprovide seeds and other inputs for farmers to encourage rice cultivation. Theyalso buy back the produce from the farmers.Stallion has established world-class rice mills at strategic locations, topromote milling locally in Nigeria. The company works with the farmingcommunity and encourages them to use the most recent technologies andpractices in farming for increased local production of paddy and other Agric-based products and thus fosters food sufficiency.Besides rice production, Stallion Group is involved in sesame farming, seeds,and fertilizers.
SeedCo Nigeria Limited
SeedCo Nigeria Limited is a seed production and distribution company that hasmade a huge impact.They develop and market certified crop seeds, like hybrid maize seed,cottonseed, wheat, soya bean, barley, sorghum and more. These seeds aredesigned to add real and consistent value, giving farmers the opportunity tohave food surplus, resulting in a good standard of living. Seed Co’s hybridseeds boost immunity, resistance or tolerance to diseases and reliable highyield performance.
Dangote is a household name that is synonymous with quality. Although DangoteGroup has a sugarcane farm among other produce, it launched a fertilizerbusiness in 2019. Dangote will partner with out-growers (smallholders andcontract rice farmers) to cultivate and grow rice paddy and sugarcane.
Indorama Fertilizers is a major urea fertilizer producer and distributor inWest Africa. Besides making their fertilizer products available at anaffordable cost, Indorama is an innovative company that is passionate aboutboosting crop productivity for farmers. They do this to help to minimize thefood grain deficit in Nigeria and other countries.In fact, Indorama Agronomic Services is focused on making plants grow, withfertiliser and high-efficiency plant nutrients technology. They use theirscience to create technologies that can optimise farmers’ fertiliserinvestments. These technologies also provide a one-stop crop managementinformation resource tor the farmers.This service provides detailed content on crops, best crop managementtechniques, fertilizers & pesticides and a host of other agriculture-relatedmaterial to boost crop productivity. Generic information enriches farmers withcommon topics on agriculture like Soils, Seeds, Nutrients, Fertilizers. Italso teaches best management practices for optimum crop production andprofits.Indorama’s fertilizer plant has also generated lots of job opportunitiescontributing to the economic prosperity of Nigeria.
Farmcrowdy identifies as Nigeria’s First Digital Agriculture Platform thatempowers rural farmers. They live up to this promise by providing ruralfarmers with improved seeds, farm inputs, and training on modern farmingtechniques. FarmCrowdy goes on to provide a market for the sale of theirfarmers’ produce. With this, they give farmers the capacity to farm more acresand by extension, increase food production and security in Africa.Still in its fourth year, Farmcrowdy has empowered over 25,000 small-scalefarmers across Nigeria. FarmCrowdy is out to empower local farmers, positivelyimpact their lives and their families while boosting food production andsustainability in Nigeria. They finished 2019 looking good as they bagged the“Africa’s Innovative Business of the Year 2019” award by the British Awardsfor African Development. They also won the International Award 2019 for“Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness”.
Agromall supports efficiency in agricultural production using various digitalsolutions to optimize best agricultural practices, enhance financial inclusionof the rural economy and foster effective interactions between small holderfarmers and other agricultural actors. They exist to make sure thatagricultural value chain participants such as farmers, input suppliers, outgrower anchors and off-takers work well with each other and achieve resultsthat are beneficial to all and the communities they work in.
These are our top 10 agribusiness companies in Nigeria. We choose them notonly because they provide innovative services to both smallholder farmers andthe public in general, but also because they have surpassed the profitabilityof agribusiness in Nigeria to make an impact in the livelihoods of people,directly and indirectly. Finally, these companies have a penchant forsustainability both for the farmers and for the environment. This is veryimportant in the wake of climate change.In 2020, Ignitia trusts these companies will make even more impact all around.