Growsel, the award-winning agricultural crowdfunding organization that connects underserved Base of the Pyramid smallholder farmers with funding has announced plans to lift even more smallholder farmers out of poverty through its global registration in the United States as Growsel Microfunds Inc., a nonprofit social impact organisation that would connect smallholder farmers with lenders around the world to alleviate poverty.
As a result of insights from researches it conducted in the last two years, Growsel is now adopting a global strategy in its effort to attract the needed support and microfinance to empower underserved smallholder farmers in developing countries. According to official sources at its Lagos-Nigeria office, the nonprofit organization will leverage on donations and grants to aid its operations. The social impact model is expected to strengthen Growsel’s global crowdfunding initiative, and further position it for the achievement of its goal of attaining its select 8, out of the 17 SDGs.
At a media parley held with newsmen in Lagos, recently, Growsel’s Field Partner Manager, Francis Asinobi, disclosed that between 2016 when it started and now, the organisation has evolved into a global lending platform positioned to connect underfinanced smallholder farmers to supporters from across the world, giving them access to capital via crowdfunding, access to agricultural best practices, improved farm inputs, and farm management solutions. “For two years or so, we have engaged seasoned professionals in testing various field models to define effective and sustainable processes to get an operating model that would deliver solutions to the challenges plaguing smallholder farmers in developing economies. Through various researches and experiments, we have gained a firsthand understanding of what works and what doesn’t work, when it comes to crowdfunding and smallholder farmers,” he stated.
“Initially, we came into the field excited about the impact we could make in the lives of millions of the African population, who are mostly farmers living in extreme poverty. From then, our aim was to find the most effective model for delivering agricultural funding solutions, a mission we have pursued vigorously,” said Olabisi Abodunrin, Growsel’s Communciations Lead. “Two years down the line, we are even more thrilled that, after numerous researches and field testing of various models, including the Commission-Based, Profit-Sharing and Out-Grower models, we can positively impact more lives and lift millions of farmers out of the poverty trap,” she added.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Growsel’s Chief Communications Officer, Elcee McEdwards, noted that social impact would be the game changer for Nigerian farmers who produce about 80% of the food consumed in Nigeria, but have little to nothing to cater for themselves and, by extension, their families. “The Social Impact Model entails crowdfunding for smallholder farmers at zero interest rates through the support of lenders in developed economies who are willing to empower smallholder farmers to grow crops to support themselves and their families.
To further guarantee lenders principal, Growsel has developed a field partner program for screening and verification of farmers before registration, as well as offtaker arrangements to buy the farm produce from them at harvest, based on current farm prices. Thereafter, the farm produce is sold to partner bulk buyers and off-takers, thereby guaranteeing commensurate economic returns for the farmers at the end of the planting cycle,” he explained.
Growsel Microfunds Inc., operating through its crowdfunding platform www.growsel.org, continues to revolutionize the Nigerian agricultural space by leveraging on innovative technological solutions to tackle the unique challenges faced by underserved smallholder farmers in various local communities.
Furthermore, the nonprofit organization has unveiled its new identity elements and payoffline, “small seeds, big impact” to drive home its course. According to the organization, the new logo represents global footprints of lenders, while the green tree indicates growth and cultivation by smallholder famers.
In pursuit of its crowdfunding campaign, Growsel is calling on both existing and prospective lenders to see agricultural crowdfunding for smallholder farmers as a social impact venture, and not investment opportunities to increase their funds.