One of the major highlights of the Mobile World Congress 2018 that held in Barcelona, Spain, was GSMA’s award of $325,000 grant to Farmcrowdy, a Nigerian-based digital agriculture platform.
According to a statement from the Nigerian agritech firm sent to BusinessDay, the objective of the grant was to allow it develop a mobile app for smartphones and feature phones that will enable farmers and technical field specialists interact about farm related activities. The proposed app will also deliver services such as information, electronic payments and training.
It will not be the first time Farmcrowdy is receiving funding to develop an app. The company launched its first app in December, 2017. However, the company’s co-founder and CEO Onyeka Akumah explains that the grant will “play a crucial part in the continued journey towards scaling” of the company’s activities across Nigeria as well as cement its relationships with the telecommunication partners of GSMA across the country.
The company had, in December, secured a $1 million funding from international and local investors to make its expansion plans to 20 states in Nigeria a reality. With the additional grant of $325,000 the company may have consolidated its leading position in the online agric investment market and possibly stake a major claim in the mobile economy.
According to Anindya Ghose, professor of IT and business analytics at NYU, mobile economy refers to any transaction that occurs on a smart phone or tablet. Currently, mobile economy, accounts for more than $3 trillion of the world’s economy or 4.2 percent of the world’s GDP.
According to GSMA’s The Mobile Economy 2018, the sub-Saharan African region will have the largest mobile penetration by population increase between 2017 and 2025. Nigeria is expected to account for 55 percent of the ten largest countries by mobile penetration population.
There are different forces driving the mobile economy one of which is what the customer is thinking. Other forces include location, time, and weather, saliency or the ranking of a company’s product; crowdedness, trajectory, social dynamics and tech mix.
These forces are also powering the strategies of platforms like Farmcrowdy which is barely a year old and already making significant impact in the agriculture sector. And as far as projections for mobile subscriptions go in sub-Saharan Africa, companies like Farmcrowdy may never lack relevance playing in the field where it is presently.
For instance, its new mobile application could see it providing fintech services like micro savings and lending, money transfers to Nigerian farmers. Already the company is best known for its agric investment options which are enabling many Nigerians make money while doing other things.