FARMVEST has launched a new investment opportunity which will allow locals and the diaspora a chance to invest in a part ownership purchase of agricultural equipment to be rented out to farmers.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
In a statement last week, Farmvest said the new opportunity came about due to the growing need for agricultural equipment.
“For the first time ever, Zimbabweans, both local and in the diaspora, have the chance to invest in a part ownership purchase of agricultural equipment which will be rented out to farmers. The new investment opportunity was brought about by the increasing need for mechanisation in the agricultural sector, which has been blighted by poor harvests and loss of income, as the sector is still largely reliant on manual labour,” Farmvest said.
“The equipment rentals will be managed by HIRRETRACTOR (a Farmvest Subsidiary), which will be responsible for the admin, bookings, storage and insurance of the equipment. HIRRETRACTOR has already began the registration of tractors and farming equipment owned by third parties on the platform.”
Farmvest said all tractors and equipment would be fitted with GPS (global positioning system) trackers to remotely monitor usage and would be available for booking, based on location via SMS or USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) menu.
“The investment in the tractor scheme will be over a period of between 18 to 36 months, with interest paid every quarter and principal returned at the end of the term, depending on the chosen investment model. Investment starts from $1 000 per share and is secured against the equipment,” Farmvest said.
According to research done by Farmvest, the penetration of tractors in Zimbabwe currently stands at a meagre 1,3 tractors per square kilometre (sqkm).
Comparatively, studies have shown that South Africa has 43 tractors per sqkm and India 116 tractors per sqkm, with Brazil coming in at 123 tractors per sqkm.
“These figures clearly presented an opportunity for investment in agricultural equipment, but with the cost being too high for most private persons, we decided to create a model that will allow individuals to invest in agriculture, without breaking the bank,” Farmvest said.
The new investment opportunity comes as Farmvest is targeting to provide financial capital to over 2 000 small-scale farmers by the end of 2019.
Farmvest is an online agricultural crowd sourcing investment platform under the United Kingdom tech company, Mitah Group. The company was founded and is owned by a United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean investor, Michael Matope.
Farmvest was last month in talks with foreign financiers to raise about £250 000 (US$328 347,37) to expand the platform, with negotiations still ongoing.