Farmable has a vision to create a crowdfunding platform that empowers small holder farmers, fight hunger, and create a sustainable business one cow at a time and they are starting in Ghana.
Without reliance on external aid or charity, Farmable wants to provide a path from poverty to self sufficiency with their new online business. So much of third world assistance comes in the form of international grants and programs which frequently are inefficient. So much of the funds end up in the hands of those that do not need the aid while so many struggle just to survive.
Co-founded by Kamal Yakub, Damian Brennan and Luis Grolez, the Farmable team and their “crowdfarming” approach is currently in 80% completed now but the founders expect the site to be completed in the next few weeks . Damian recently described their concept to Crowdfund Insider;
Farmable is revolutionary on a number of fronts. The company is tackling a tricky problem by providing food security in the form of capacity building activities for farmers. The beauty is in the way the company is structured – an online business unit, which is a crowdfunding platform that will generate funds for capacity building; a social business unit, which manages the capacity building of partner farmers; and, a commercial unit, that will purchase the improved cattle stock from the smallholder farmers and distribute the beef into the local markets. The company will be both self sustaining and profitable. At the same time it provides a path out of poverty for small holder farmers by helping them manage their herd better, while at the same time providing a profit center in the form of guaranteed sales at above market prices.
The platform encompasses three vertical described below:
- Farmable Online – A crowdfunding platform (in beta testing) that links global online funders to local Smallholder farmers in Ghana. Customers will fund cows for farms to help farmers called ‘crowdfarming’. These social investors will be termed CowBackers.
- Farmable on the Ground – A field operation with strategic partners including NGOs and Universities, that will work together to improve the capacity of Smallholder cattle farmers and the health of their herds.
- Enterprise Business Unit – (Ghana Beef Company) A value adding operation that will buy the health cattle from Small Holder Farmers at the best market rate, and sell the cattle as beef back into the domestic market.
The Farmable crowdfunding platform will be used to channel funding from social investors around the world to fund the capacity building activities of smallholder farmers. By investing in a cow through the Farmable website, online funders become ‘CowBackers’. In return they get the unique experience of being connected to their own cow on a real farm in Ghana. Every cow costs $500 and is made up of ‘cowshares’. ‘CowBackers’ can choose to fund a full cow or invite friends and family to share a cow, also known as ‘CowSharing’.
Social investors can expect to experience a fun and interactive experience on the site. To incentive funding, ‘CowBackers’ can name their cow and earn a range of unique rewards based on their level of funding. These rewards range from small tokens of appreciation to personalized gifts; such as a one-off, custom illustrated t-shirt featuring their cow.
The model they are attempting to perfect is something the founders hope to replicate in other emerging markets around the world. In their first market, Ghana, the Farmable team hopes to partner with 250 small farmers over the next few years.