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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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‘Invest’, has always been a mantra. Maybe more pronounced in
recent times, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the
unexpected effects it brought.
While we are constantly exposed to adverts in the media,
inviting us to invest in various sectors, with promises of juicy
returns, it is most likely that some of us would tend towards
agric-based investments.
This is likely, because a lot of people feel that, regardless of
the times we are faced with, humans will definitely eat.
This thought brings some sort of certainty that return on
investment, will come through, as well as the invested capital.
However, since anybody can come up and ‘start’ an agritech
company with acclaimed legitimacy and assurance, investors
have to be super careful.
Agritech Investments
First, agritech is the use of technology in agriculture with the
aim of improving sustainability, efficiency and profitability.
An agritech company is one that uses technology in
agriculture, to power online, the various layers of services they
offer.
An agritech investment is simple. Investors sponsor the farms
and in turn, get guaranteed returns, without having to bother
about the technicalities involved. Return on investment, (ROI),
could be as high as 35% on investment.
This idea of a large number of people, bringing money together
for a project, or venture is what is, also, known as
crowdfunding.
With over 50 agritech companies in Nigeria, however, how
certain can one be, about investments?
This is considering the length to which dubious folks can go to
enrich themselves, at the expense of other people.
Safety Precautions
Beyond hearing from friends, or from a couple of people on
social media platforms, you should carry out your research
about the prospective investment company.
While researching does not guarantee that investments will fall
through, here are a couple of things you can look out for,
before investing in agritech companies:
The Company Structure
Look out for, whether the company is registered with the
necessary institutions. This denotes legitimacy and could
indicate that the company would take agreements
seriously and will be responsive to investors.
Company History
What do people have to say, about investing with the
company? Are there reviews you can lay your hands on?
Who are the key figures in the company? Do they have
qualifications, to assure you of their possible competence in
the field you intend to invest in?
Do they have a social following? Are there previous
controversies surrounding the company?
These are a few of the questions one should ask before
investing and a simple google search could get you started.
Insurance
The benefits of insurance for businesses are numerous, but
beyond the benefits, a business stands to gain, investors have
their benefits as well.
One should ask if the potential agritech company is insured
and if the said insurance company is reputable, just in case,
anything goes wrong with the agritech company.
Alternatives
While it is true that every investment comes with its own risks
and downside, it never hurts to invest with institutions that
offer certainty and peace of mind.
Although returns may not be as ‘high,’ as one would get from
agritech investments, this would prevent loss and heartache.
For instance, returns on fixed deposit accounts with banks,
may not bring as much, but one can be certain of both ROI
and invested capital.
There is, also, the option of starting a business, as a form of
investment, but business takes time and consistency to build
and the rewards may not come in immediately.
Should one, decide to invest with agritech companies, it
could, also, be wise to diversify, by investing in other fields.
The proverbial, ‘not putting all your eggs in one basket’, comes
to play. Here, you spread your investments, among different
options.
This would help prevent the overall loss of investment.

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