Nigerian agri-tech startup EZ Farming says it is “fired up” after taking part in the Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups accelerator programme and accessing US$150,000 funding, and is now striving to build the biggest agriculture-focused micro-lending platform in Africa.
EZ Farming is an agricultural crowdfunding startup that allows users to lend to smallholder farmers to help them increase productivity and revenues, and earn returns in the process.
It was launched based on founder Dr Adewale Oparinde’s experience working as a research fellow for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) under the HarvestPlus project, where he had to interact with smallholder and commercial farmers across different continents.
“After returning from one of my fieldwork trips, about 20 unemployed graduates from Nigeria reached out to me asking to help them find a job. This was my “aha moment” because it was so strange to have 20 young people reaching out on the same day for the same reason. I knew we had to do something about this as a people to avoid the looming crisis that youth unemployment could bring,” Oparinde told Disrupt Africa. Continue reading…