Agrikaab Closure 2020
Regrettably, Agrikaab has shut down due to the impact of the economic crisis. They exhausted all options to keep this company alive however unable to pay staff salaries, buy feed and fertilizers for animals and farms. Please refer to the closing notice on their website.
This is sad news, and was always a possibility when investing in high-risk high-reward opportunities in developing countries. This is another reason to only allocate what you can afford to lose in these sorts of projects.
What is Agrikaab?
Agrikaab (formally Ari.farm) is an agrifood startup enabling investment in agriculture in East Africa. The company was founded by Mohamed Jimale, a former nomad from Somalia. In 2010 Mohamed moved to Sweden as a refuge.
In 2016 Somalia faced a terrible drought that impacted the lives of many nomads. The nomads lost animals through the drought. With an IT background, Mohamed created Agrikaab to allow people to invest in farms in Somalia and create jobs for the nomads.
- Total users: 4,050
- Number of countries investing: >50
- Number of Projects: 10
- Jobs Created: 20
- Average Return on Investment: 30%
The Local Impact of Agrikaab
The mission of Agrikaab is to contribute to food security in East Africa and create local jobs for nomads. Any investment made has a noticed impact on the lives of people and the local economy. In particular, Agrikaab:
- Creates jobs for former nomads, who take care of the farms, and buy or sell products. The nomads are people who lost animals to climate issues and have moved to the city. The nomads take care of the farms, plants and animals. Half of Somalia’s population (12 million) are nomads whose only assets are livestock.
- Produces local food at an affordable price. The food is provided to local markets, which is cheaper than importing food from other countries.
- Supports the local economy. Agriculture is over 75% of Somalia’s economy, so the international investment is vital. Additionally, Agrikaab provides a market for nomads who want to sell their animals.
Once you have started to make investments in the platform, you can see statistics about how your investment makes a local impact.
What does Agrikaab offer?
Agrikaab offers a range of projects including:
- Camel Farming (for much-needed camel milk)
Agrikaab builds and maintains camel farms producing fresh milk.
Somalia is the world’s biggest camel milk producer with annual revenues hitting $3 billion dollars.
- Farm Ponds (for much-needed water)
Agrikaab builds ponds to harvest rainwater to use on their own farms, and supply others during drought periods.
Water is the #1 challenge for agriculture in Somalia
- Greenhouses (for much-needed produce)
Agrikaab builds and maintains greenhouse farms producing food for local markets.
Agriculture represents 75% of Somalia’s economy.
- Stores (one stop shop for agricultural supplies, tools and equipment)
By making agricultural supplies available, existing farmers can purchase the required equipment for farm maintenance.
Agrikaab Water Ponds
Farm Pond Information and Local Impact
Agrikaab builds farm ponds to harvest rainwater during Spring and Autumn (highest rain periods for Somalia). The water will be used for greenhouse irrigation, and for selling to nomads who need affordable water during dry seasons.
Before I continue, I will disclose that I have purchased some of the ponds area. You can find out why I invested in the water pond here.
Farm Pond Cost and Return
After every rainfall event, Agrikaab will report how much water has been collected in the ponds, and investors will get $0.6 per 1,000 L of water stored. Based on estimates, investors should receive their money back and an interest of 60% within 2.5 – 4 years (~15%-24% p.a.). Returns are not guaranteed and heavily reliant on rainfall.
- Farm pond space is sold per cubic metre. The current price is $3 USD p/m3.
- Minimum purchase is 50 m3, which is equivalent to $150 USD.
- Estimated return on investment is 20-60%.
- Investments will be distributed every 6 months in January and July until the investor has received a 60% profit.
- Rainfall – Low or no rainfall has a direct impact on investment returns. You can’t sell water that doesn’t exist!
- Security – The security situation is unstable with potential clan conflicts. Agrikaab at all times has a team close by.
- Theft – Low risk of theft as the pond will be situated next to the greenhouse.
Camel Farm Information and Local Impact
Agrikaab has two types of camel farms (1) breeding camels, and (2) milking camels. Camel farms create jobs for former nomads who are responsible for taking care of the animals and selling any milk. The farm provides fresh camel milk to the city, and provides a market for nomads who want to sell camels.
Camel Farm Cost and Return
Investors will obtain a share of the revenue from the whole herd. After paying expenses, investors will get 70% of the net revenue until they receive their original money with a 60% profit.
Camels can be bought as a whole animal, or as a percentage of an animal. Revenue will be reported and paid out after the first animals deliver calves. It is estimated that an investor will get their money back with a profit of 60% within 4 years. Investment return is subject to the price of milk, animals, production and demand.
- A whole breeding camel is worth $950 USD.
- Minimum purchase is 30% of a breeding camel ($285 USD).
- Estimated return on investment is 17-30%.
- Investments will be distributed on a quarterly basis once first animals deliver calves (up to 13 months).
- Droughts – There is a high risk of drought impacting the fertility of the animals. Some animals may not get pregnant in a season
- Security – The security situation is unstable with potential clan conflicts. Animals are generally kept away from insecure areas
- Theft or Loss – Animals are in an open area and can wander away or get stolen. The risk to be mitigated with GPS trackers for animal monitoring
- Disease – When working with animals in big quantities, there is always a risk for disease. There is a vet who will check the animals on occasion.
- Infertility – Some animals may be infertile. In that case, the animals will be sold, and the loss is distributed by the whole herd.
- Low Milk Yield – Potential for animals to have a low yield of milk. This will affect total milk revenue
- Miscarriage – Animals can have complications during delivery. Losses distributed in the whole herd
- Death – always a risk of death. Losses distributed in the whole herd.
Greenhouse Information and Local Impact
Agrikaab has multiple greenhouse farms throughout Somalia. The farms produce vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers, which are then sold in the city.
Farms are all different sizes, (~1020m2) and create jobs local people in the community. A 1000m2 farm needs about 4 workers. The farm provides locally produced food at an affordable cost.
Agrikaab has two types of camel farms (1) breeding camels, and (2) milking camels. Camel farms create jobs for former nomads who are responsible for taking care of the animals and selling any milk. The farm provides fresh camel milk to the city and provides a market for nomads who want to sell camels.
Greenhouse Cost and Return
- Investors can invest a minimum of 20m2 at a cost of $10 USD per m2
- After costs, Investors will receive 70% of the revenues which are divided up among investors.
- Revenues will be distributed every 6 months for 18 months until at least 30% return on investment has occurred.
- Water Cost is the biggest risk. Currently, the cost of water is too high.
- Security – There will always be a team on the farm, however, the security is always a concern
- Failed Harvest – There is a risk for failed harvests
- Disease – There is a risk of disease, however the necessary treatments, pesticides and fertilisers are available.
- Theft – low risk for theft of the produce
Agrikaab Store Information and Local Impact
Currently, farmers are at the mercy of organisations who can take a very long time to provide basic supplies, or otherwise provide those supplies to intermediaries who will charge multiples for any products imported.
To combat the inefficiencies of the current system, Agrikaab has introduced a specialised agricultural store in Somalia. The store will supply agricultural supplies, tools and equipment that farmers need. The first store opening will be in Mogadishu in the autumn.
The goal of creating the stores is to provide a destination for farmers to find the products they need, in a timely manner, and at an affordable price. A second goal is to encourage and inspire newer generations to try farming.
The stores will sell seeds, fertilizers, livestock feed, greenhouse construction materials and other related products. Products will all be imported from countries such as China and Turkey (the countries currently supplying Agrikaab’s current projects).
Agrikaab Store Cost and Return
The minimum investment is $300 USD. Which is equal to 0.25% of the store inventory cost. The investor owns a share of the store inventory.
Once the store has opened, every quarter Agrikaab will pay 70% of the net revenue from the store to the investors until a 60% profit is reached. At this point, the investment is over.
- The stores are not insured, so theft of items or other unkind activities are a risk
- Inventory may not sell (however, the products are needed in the country and there are no other suppliers)
Creating an Agrikaab Account
The Sign-up process is straight forward. The only details that you need to fill in are your name, email and a password.
Investment and Withdrawal Limits
Investors must have a minimum of $200 in order to make withdrawals from their accounts. In addition to this, you will be required to verify your identity with either a passport or national ID.
Investors receive a shared amount of the revenues (and losses) gained from each of the projects.
An example of this is that you don’t have a specific camel, rather 1 camel in a herd of 100. This would mean that from the total revenue gained, you would be entitled to 1%.
What are the Risks of Investing in East Africa?
Investing in East Africa does not come without risk. Just recently, the Agrikaab office was hit with an explosion, and there are clan conflicts in certain areas of the city.
Agrikaab Affiliate Program
Agrikaab offers an affiliate program, rewarding investors with 2% commission on any sales made from an investor’s referral link.
To signup to the referral program, an investor must sign up separately
There is a chance that investing in some of these East African projects are exploiting local people by profiting off the situation. However, I don’t believe that is the case. All of the investments finish once the projects reach 30% profit (e.g. greenhouse projects, and camel farms) or 60% profit (e.g. water ponds, shops). After that time, the structures that were initially purchased will remain (however, greenhouses may have to have repairs done to them). This means that the infrastructure can be utilized again to benefit the community.
What I love about Agrikaab is that they are trying to solve the major problems faced in Somalia. Those being food (incl. camel milk), water, jobs, and farming supplies. From what I have seen, the platform is really trying to make a difference in the lives of people in Somalia.
One thing that an investor does have to be careful about, is the state of affairs with violence around the towns. Earlier in the year, the office of Argikaab had received damages from a bomb detonating in the street. This is a sobering thought and one that should be taken into consideration if your returns become irregular.
This is then a win for the investors and a win for the communities.
I would also like to thank The Wealthy Finn who was the first to bring this platform to my attention. Eelis is currently tracking a camel that he bought earlier in the year.