We have a cluster of young rice investors to which I belong who recently got into the business. Our vision is simple, to have a first hand experience of what the business entails, and then scale up.
So we got in contact with someone who sent us a business proposal by name Paul Akpiri from Oju LGA in Benue State. He claimed to be working with FADAMA and have farm clusters and a cluster of farm owners under him that need our investment. Under a mutually benefiting agreement it matched our needs.
His proposal was to either lease the farms in hectares and then contract the farmers to farm them or go into a harvest sharing agreement with the farmers. The investment term was 3 months (from his proposal). But we provide 100% of the capital. His proposal also stated that each hectares of rice will yield a harvest it 4,000KG of rice MINIMUM.
So we went into investment, with this PAUL Akpiri more and a collaborator or go-between us and the farmers. Problems started at the 3-month mark when we were supposed to exit. He started with endless excuses, but we noticed that all his excuses were systematically putting blames on the farmers. Long story short 3 months is now 8 months and we are yet to exit. In fact he came back and declared a harvest of 9000kg instead of 56,000kg for the first 14 Hectares of rice, which is beyond outrageous. So now we are in the process of bringing EFCC & ICPC actions against him.
That explains the header of this topic.
However, we are very keen on this investment and we have great plans for it. We just got Involved with the wrong person and we have learnt from the loopholes that made that happen. We would like to either deal directly with a rice farmer who has access to farm clusters that are verifiable and we can have an iron clad mutual agreement with. Access to off takers and mills is also a plus, to ensure easy exit.