Consider buying land in Africa

Hello guys, I am a new member and actually joined the forum for a different reason. Particularly, I am the lead writer for one of the popular and dedicated DAO news site. However, a random thought just hit me and I think it may spur some interest within the DAO.

Like the title states, is the DAO open to the option of purchasing land in Africa? I am aware that the DAO bought 40 acres near Cody, Wyoming for around $100,000.

I don’t know about other African countries. But I know it’s possible to acquire between 50 to 80 acres for the same amount in some states in Nigeria. So, what if the DAO acquires say 10 acres and starts a pilot farm project, runs it for one farming season (depending on the crop) and decides whether to continue the project or sell of the land to recover its investment?

Like I said, these are just random thoughts and I haven’t given much thinking or research into them. If given the go-ahead, I can conduct a full research and feasibility study into the whole initiative.

Having grown up working on a dairy farm in the Midwest, I know that farming requires a lot of institutional knowledge, specialized equipment, and labor to successfully run a farm. I can imagine that in the portion of the world where you are suggesting, hiring people with that expertise is possible. If we were to explore this and pursue cash crops, what kind of possible revenue per acreage are we looking at? I assume anyone with the proper farming expertise and equipment won’t come cheap, as they probably already have their own farms. But I wonder if a page out of the Amish farmers in the Midwest’s playbook is possible here, where you just hire another farmer to come in with the modern technology to do it for you and just pay them off to minimize time/effort.

Being unfamiliar with farming in that area of the world, what kinds of crop risks are associated with those cash crops? Drought, pests, civil conflict, raiders, etc.

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Thanks for taking the time to respond to this @paythetoll. First, I’d like to state that farming in Africa, and particularly Nigeria, is quite different from the rest of the world. While specialized equipment and institutional knowledge is a huge plus, very little attention is paid to that here. Or let’s just say a lot of farmers don’t have the capacity to purchase these equipment and research institutions are typically on the sidelines.

So, here’s what plays out if a farmer decides to operate on a large scale. You conduct your own research and hire your own equipment. There are people that have machinery like bulldozers and tractors for hire. They get paid daily. With this, the overall cost for a pilot program can be greatly reduced.

Conducting your own research could mean visiting the farms of those who are already in the business. A few farm owners will be more than willing to share their experiences and even conduct trainings for as little as $100.

Speaking on labor, there is a lot of affordable labor here, and that’s what a lot of farmers use. As for the expertise, I am a livestock farmer myself, currently operating a self-owned fish and snail farms.

On your question about the possible revenue per acreage, I haven’t given much thought to it. Plus this will vary from one crop to another. Possible cash crops we could look at are Maize, Cassava, or Oil Palm. These are currently hot cakes.

Risks
Every business investment comes with its own risks. However, these can be managed with proper insight and experience. So, I’ll just list a broad number of risks that might be associated with doing this:

  1. Pest: As we all know, every crop has its own pests. For instance, birds will typically go after maize fields. But this can be mitigated using pesticides (depending on the crop).

  2. Theft: There’s no point trying to whitewash what’s going on in most organizations. If given the opportunity, most humans would steal things. I’ve experienced that in previous businesses. Having a robust management structure and someone on ground to monitor the farm and staff can reduce this.

I think these are the major risks we may face moving forward. In choosing a site, we can be careful to avoid areas with civil or communal clashes. There’s also no issue of drought in my region.

Like I said earlier, I am open to conducting a very detailed research and cost analysis if this is an idea we will like to run with.

Hi @smartclem. It’s an interesting idea and thanks for contributing! I love the idea of international nodes for CityDAO. I think some of the challenges would be (1) having people on the ground there who can oversee the project on behalf of the DAO, (2) local knowledge of what areas are valuable to purchase so we don’t end up with land that isn’t useable and (3) the idea of quantity vs. quality. While we could purchase dozens of acres, do we have the ability to efficiently utilize the land. We might be better off buying one acre, offering someone a stipend to farm that land, to make the produce available to the local community either free or at a discount, and then cultivating (no pun intended) a positive image before trying to flex and biting off more than we can chew.

I do have a friend who just moved to Nigeria, and another friend who’s lived there for years, and CityDAO actually has a sizeable Nigerian community. There is some synchronicity in this idea, if it can be done in a viable way.

On another note, I’d love to talk more about the publication that you’re writing for. The RTM project at CityDAO might have some overlap with your reach at the publication. Please add me as a friend and we can chat about it!

Hello David, nice to see some positive response and I like the direction this is heading.

On point 1 (having people on ground): There are two positives I have to offer here. First, I am a local and have spent most of my life in Nigeria. I have traveled to the different regions, either for school, work, or business. So, I am on ground to get things started if this is something we are looking to pursue.

Secondly, I am also a farmer (engineer turned farmer, haha) and have been nursing the idea of pushing something along these lines. At the moment, my focus is on snails and fish - production, processing, and snails. On the sideline, I have some crops and fruits that I produce solely for home consumption. So, this is familiar territory. You can checkout what I am doing on Instagram (@rabsnveggies).

  1. Like I already said above, I am a local and a farmer. With a few persons from the DAO, we should be able to get things going.

  2. While purchasing 30 acres like in the case of Wyoming may seem nice. I propose a smaller amount for a pilot project. Could be 5 or 10. This way, we’d also lower the cost of things like clearing and security the propoerty.

About purchasing an acre and offering someone a stipend to farm on it. Here’s a better idea in my opinion. We don’t need to pay a stipend. We can have someone farm the plot and take a percentage of the produce at the end of the day. This will serve as payment. That’s what’s largely obtainable here. I have a few properties my self, in addition to my currently running farm, and people farm on them.

The idea of providing food at a discount or for free to the local community is amazing. But we need to generate revenue. May not be so much, but should be enough to pay salaries and cover the investment over a few years. To build rapport with the host community, we can give a small percentage to key leaders at the end of the harvest season. This is mainly how things work here.

I am already running my farm on a small scale and seeing positive returns. My farm setup cost about $21k for half an acre. This includes the cost of building an office and staff quarters, fencing the entire property, installing irrigation, and all that. Needless to say, my farm is in the city and just a few minutes away from my residential property. We can get something a lot cheaper in more remote areas.

Finally, I am currently the lead writer for DAO Times (I know you’ve been reading our articles) and Masternode Buzz. I’ve been a ghost writer for a number of other major crypto sites and companies too.

Will you be joining this Wednesday 12pm MT on Discord for the community call to discuss your forum posting?

Sure, would love to.