It started with an irresistible offer, as is often the case with investments that are too good to be true. A mouth-watering 50 percent return on investment (ROI) after six months was the sweet deal through which a fledgling grain farming venture, HO Corn - under the leadership of one Harrison Osemwengie Andrew - had set out in 2020 to outdo competitors in what had been approximated to ‘agritech’ in Nigeria.
Of course, that sweet deal attracted many ‘investors’ like bees to a honeypot: People like Esther Oluwaseun who took out loans to make up her NGN 300 K (~USD 720.00) investment; Prosper Onyedikachukwu who had to borrow from a cooperative society to get in on what seemed like an opportunity, and scores of others.
But the sweet deal would turn sour as this popularised, Jekyll-and-Hyde segment of agritech known as crowdfarming (which leverages crowdfunding) unravelled in Nigeria in the last two years.
“Crowdfunding has over the past few years been the most visible model o...