Agpreneur: a Community-Based Lending Program to Help Nigerian Farmers Help Themselves

How are we supposed to feed a growing population as inequality continues to rise? By 2030, 660 million people are likely to still be grappling with hunger. It seems obvious to turn to farmers for solutions, but farmers themselves are often in extremely precarious financial and environmental situations. Agpreneur, a Nigeria-based organization, is aiming to transform the country’s agricultural landscape by empowering farmers and agribusinesses through a holistic solution that addresses the sector’s core challenges.

Agriculture is an unwieldy and complicated industry, but Agpreneur has adopted a five-pronged approach to address the sector’s most urgent needs. At the heart of their model is AgCredit, a unique community-based lending system. In Nigeria, many farmers receive capital too late due to lengthy lender processes; misidentify key growth aspects needing funding; spend capital on non-impactful items; and struggle to access profitable markets. With AgCredit, farmers self-organize into communities, and the collective responsibility within these groups acts as collateral, ensuring high repayment rates. This approach democratizes access to finance and fortifies community bonds: according to Agpreneur, over 1200 group loans have been processed to the tune of $2.5 million, with a 97% repayment rate.

With finances sorted, Agpreneur’s AgSchool steps in to share knowledge on sustainable and climate-smart farming techniques. By promoting practices like crop rotation, organic farming, and integrated pest management, the environmental footprint of agriculture is reduced, resources are conserved, soil remains fertile and waters unpolluted. Such a robust knowledge base helps farmers increase their yields, reduce losses, and adapt to dramatically changing climate conditions. Over 25,000 farmers across Nigeria have benefited from this program, according to Agpreneur.

Agpreneur is also leveraging technology to assist farmers to navigate the complex landscape of their sector. The use of AgSupply, a platform that allows farmers to place order inputs, facilitates farmers’ access to Agpreneur’s portfolio of ​​​​products. When farmers have questions or concerns on anything ranging from market trends of produce to which type of pest control to use during harvest, they can use AgIQ, a chatbot providing instant assistance. These data-driven insights enable farmers to predict market demands, understand changing climate patterns, and adjust their strategies accordingly — thus ensuring minimal waste and maximum food production (which translates into economic benefits). Finally, AgTrade is a digital marketplace that bridges the gap between producers and consumers and ensures farmers get fair prices for their produce while widening their market reach.

photo by Agpreneur

In the vast landscape of agricultural initiatives, Agpreneur stands out for its offerings and for its ethos, approach, and unwavering commitment to the farming community. They are committed to placing farmers at the forefront of an agricultural revolution and aim to train over 500,000 farmers in sustainable practices by 2033, empowering them to contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future for our planet. In this way, Agpreneur empowers the hand that feeds us — and we all benefit.

Learn more about Agpreneur.

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