There’s no gain saying that there are several number of agricultural investment windows, otherwise known as Agrictech, flying around today, most especially across the social media.
Quite a lot of them are genuine and people have taken and are taking advantage of them to invest their funds consequently to smile to the bank with good returns on investment.
However, there are equally some who are not legitimate and exist to scam unsuspecting investors.
Investment advisor, Jennifer Awirigwe, has urged prospecting investors looking in the direction of Agritech to be wary not to fall into the hands of these uncaring agrictech proprietors.
Speaking further, Awirigwe said, “If you’re on social media, you may have come across several beautifully designed efliers on instagram, facebook, WhatsApp etc with inscription such as: ”Invest 100k for 50% returns in 6 months” ‘Invest in our poultry and rice farm for 20% …’and many more. That’s a bit of Agritech crowdfunding.It’s one investment vehicle many of us have leverage or leveraging, growing our hard-earned money with. When you hear agritech, it simply means a blend of Agriculture and Technology.”
Explaining, the advisor says, agrictech process involves three parties, these are : the farmers with the Know-How, the Investors with the fund and the middlemen that bring the above two parties together.
According to Awirigwe, investors supply funds to the farmers, facilitated by the middlemen (The different platforms), The farmers work with this fund. After harvest, proceeds are shared between all three parties.
The investment advisor says agrictech has been a popular investment option for the investing community and has been very rewarding as the interest returns by far beats what is obtainable in standard investment options like Money Market. But as with anything that has High Returns come with high risk. She says.
“As an investor, you must understand that Agric investment is highly risky in the sense that the farm may not do as well as expected, which could be due to natural disaster like flood. In cases like this, an investor stands the risk of losing both his interest and capital. This has happened so many times in the past.”
Awirigwe stressed further that aside poor harvest, scrupulous individuals have leveraged this platform to run Ponzi schemes, promising ridiculous returns and swindling the unsuspecting investors.
“A lot of people have lost money to these frauds. Like every other type of investment, it’s advisable to run proper due diligence before investing with any platform. Whenever I’m checking out any platform for our Investment Club, due diligence is never compromised.”
Highlighting the things wise investors should look out for and questions to ask before putting in money, she says they include the following:
What is their business model? How exactly do they make money? Are they doing what they say they do with Investor’s money? How realistic is their interest rate?
You should be skeptical of ridiculous interest rates. Is their operations sustainable? Can they continue to do what they do for long term?
Who are the management. What have they done in the past? What is the extent of their insurance cover?
Is there really a market for their products?
What are people saying on their social media handles? Is anyone complaining?
What’s their past record like? How long have they been in business? Have they been consistent with payments?
Concluding, she stressed that having answers to these question will help anyone make informed decision.
“Note that even with all of these in place, something can still go wrong.So the smartest thing to do to minimize loses is to simply do your due diligence and invest only what you can afford to lose and endeavour to diversify your investment. And as they say, “Never put your egg in one basket.”
Jennifer Awirigwe is Founder, Financial People Investment Club