Farm your profit from afar

Financial Mail - - PATTERN RECOGNITION - Kate Fer­reira

There is a plethora of apps these days that give us a mo­bile means of in­vest­ing and man­ag­ing our money. Bit­coin and cryp­tocur­ren­cies grab the head­lines, but there are also apps that give di­rect and in­di­rect ac­cess to stocks, in­dex­track­ing funds, and rainy-day sav­ings. Now you can even buy a lit­tle slice of pro­duc­tive agri­cul­ture via “crowd-farm­ing” and “im­pact farm­ing”.

Here, again, the mo­bile app is the con­duit to the in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle, not the of­fer­ing it­self. Lo­cally, through the Fed­group app, any­one with a few hun­dred rand to spare can buy into sus­tain­able farm­ing ven­tures —

in­clud­ing so­lar power, bee­keep­ing and blue­berry farm­ing.

The great thing about this is that the re­cip­i­ents (the farm­ers) have been se­lected and vet­ted, and be­cause it is a groupin­vest­ing set-up, the bar­ri­ers and costs to en­try are sig­nif­i­cantly lower. It’s like mi­cro ven­ture cap­i­tal.

Fed­group has been around since 1990 and is an in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany of­fer­ing things like com­mer­cial prop­erty fi­nance, group re­tire­ment sav­ings, and now this. You merely need the app (avail­able for IOS and An­droid), and some move­able cash – and are ul­ti­mately buy­ing part-shares in these eco-friendly, for-profit ven­tures. This is pack­aged in the in-app mar­ket­place as buy- ing a blue­berry bush, so­lar panel or bee­hive — or a mix thereof.

Fed­group prom­ises to do all the “heavy lift­ing”, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of these “as­sets” on ap­proved farms.

The out­come is that you earn a small but reg­u­lar in­come off the suc­cess of these as­sets.

“Once your as­sets pro­duce a yield, we sell it to our con­tracted cus­tomers, col­lect the money, and pay you an in­come,” ex­plains Fed­group in the app in­for­ma­tion.

The app is sim­ple to use and pro­vides a great “dash­board” view of your in­vest­ments. The min­i­mum in­vest­ment is R300.

The honey and blue­ber­ries pro­vide re­turns twice a year, while so­lar is year-round.

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