Quite a number of individuals would love to be farmers or farm owners to have either a primary or secondary source of income but for time, distance and other factors. Thankfully, with the aid of technology, people are constantly innovating; sorting and creating ways to improve the process of farming and agribusiness in general. One such innovation is CompleteFarmer.
Founded in June 2017 by a team of agricultural scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers; Desmond Koney, Andrew Quartey and Charles Ofosuhene, CompleteFarmer is a “crowd farming” platform that gives users the opportunity to own and manage farms on their devices from the comfort of wherever they are.
What this means is that expert farmers and farm managers do the actual farm work in the communities where CompleteFarmer operates, while farm owners and sponsors monitor farm progress on their mobile devices from wherever they are. After harvest, the produce is sold at a profit to ensure the farm sponsors get returns.
How it works
All an interested person has to do is log on the platform and sign up by providing personal details including name, contact and address. CompleteFarmer sends said person a document to help them create their dream farm, and depending on the package chosen, the platform set up all the required accounts to run the farm and then proceeds to build farm.
The platform gives users the option of two packages – the crowd farmer package and the freeholder farmer package. Crowd farmers farm with other users in a designated catchment area. They do not need to provide land or any input. They own the farm by making an investment for a planting season on a preferred number of acres for a guaranteed return on their investment after a planting season.
Freeholder farmers farm using their own land and inputs depending on their preferred crop and desired acres. They invest and the platform manages their farms from planning to marketing, or only carry out specific tasks as required on their farms. The package for freeholder farmers are customized and users can choose from a bundle of services.
CompleteFarmer uses the latest farm mechanization technologies and the best farming and management practices to get the best yields and return guaranteed interest on users investment. The platform also provides market access and crop insurance against climate-related disasters, pests, bushfires, and other natural epidemics.
Users also get an interactive dashboard to monitor their farms and track work progress through photos and live drone feeds and schedule visits to the farm. These farm visits are scheduled periodically but while they are limited for crowd farmers, they are unlimited for freeholder farmers.
According to Andrew Quartey, co-founder and CTO of CompleteFarmer, the platform is the first of its kind and aligns with the general aim to ensure food security in Ghana and create jobs for farmers and the youth. “People from all walks of life can own a farm and enjoy the benefits without lifting a finger,” he said.
Since its launch, the platform has made over 153 acres of chilli pepper, cassava, ginger and pineapple farms available for sponsorship. And is expected to make at least two more crop farms available for funding before the year runs out.
The goal of the platform is to be a global leader in enabling innovative agribusiness solutions in Africa to secure sustainable livelihoods and food security. And to increase profitability for users and sponsors helping them gain a competitive advantage across the agricultural value chain.