Today we will all learn how online farming works as told by a real investor herself, Geli.
This post is part of a series I introduced last August where I interview ordinary people who has helpful and inspirational stories when it comes to personal finance, investment and making extra income.
You all remember Romer, a young marino who is doing extremely well investing in the Philippine stock market. Now, let us keep the motivation flowing with a rather interesting alternative investment vehicle, ONLINE FARMING.
Based on my understanding, online farming in the Philippines works pretty simple. Your investment will be pooled together with the others.
This money will then be used as a capital to support selected local farmers. After the harvest and selling of produced goods, you’ll get your share of profits as a form of ROI (return of investment).
But there are many other things involved in online farming that only a real investor can explain. So I can’t thank Geli enough for agreeing with this interview.
In this interview Geli will briefly discuss…
1. The complete step-by-step procedure on how to invest in online farming
2. How much is the return of investment is (real amount revealed!)
3. What is the right investment strategy when it comes to online farming
4. Is online farming best for beginners?
Tell me your story. How did you start investing in online farming? What attracted you to invest in online farming? How did you find out about online farming?
I think I found an article somewhere about a real-life FarmVille. I wasn’t really familiar with how FarmVille works, so I was curious to see what it was.
I checked out Farmon.ph and that’s where I learned more about it. I watched their media features on Youtube so I thought they were legit.
What attracted me to it was the fact that I can help out farmers who are usually taken advantage of by greedy capitalists. I thought Farmon was a good platform that gives equal opportunities for both farmers and investors.
What are the steps you did to invest in online farming? Will appreciate a step-by-step procedure.
From requirements to how much the initial investment is:
Signing up for Farmon wasn’t like signing up for an email account. They only allow online registration when there’s a farming cycle going on. I had to wait for the next cycle to open an account.
Investing was a really easy process. Just go to your dashboard, choose the product that you want to invest in, and wait for Farmon’s confirmation and contract.
The contract has the total investment amount that you need to deposit to their account. Sign a scanned copy / photo of the contract, and send it along with your deposit slip via their message center which can be found in your dashboard. I normally get an acknowledgment 3-5 days after sending the documents.
One thing I noticed with those new to Farmon is they’re always worried why they haven’t gotten a reply yet. I guess it’s because of Farmon’s manpower.
It actually takes days before they reply, so don’t worry about it. Your investment will reflect on your dashboard weeks after they’ve acknowledged the contract. Sometimes it won’t reflect until the actual farming has started.
Plots usually start at Php 1,500, and initial investment would depend on how many plots you want to invest in. Note that it will take months from actual planting to harvesting, so I would suggest you already invest an amount that’s worth the wait.
Did you have any hesitations in the beginning? How did you share the idea to your husband or your family?
Surprisingly, I didn’t. Probably because I carefully thought about how much I was willing to lose in case it was a scam. HAHA.
I’m pretty much the finance manager of the household, so it was easy to convince my husband about exploring online farming. Of course I had to guarantee him that we won’t be risking all our savings in case it doesn’t work out. I just wanted us to have an open mind about it and be ready to take a small risk.
What was your goal/motivation when you invested in online farming?
I’ve always been thinking about ways to improve our cash flow but opening a business is not really our thing. In a way, I consider online farming as a side business because agriculture is a big industry. And I love that we just need to provide some capital and the Farmon team will take care of everything else – from planting to marketing of the goods.
How much did you make on your first month or first payout? Is the return of investment good?
My first investment was Php 30,000. I got it back for Php 38,865 in about 6 months. It was a really good return, especially since stock market was sluggish last year. And it’s obviously not an amount you can get from the bank.
Can you describe your investment strategy? Are you a long-term investor? How do you pick which farming product you will buy?
I would say I’m currently a mid-term investor, because we’re at the period of fast-tracking our savings to make big purchases like house and lot, while being able to travel from time to time.
My strategy in picking a farming product is to choose those that are expected to be harvested within 6 months. This is so I would have money to reinvest when a new cycle is open.
Do you consider online farming the best investment for beginners?
I wouldn’t really say it’s the best investment for beginners, but it’s a great way to improve your cash flow. I see it as a source of extra income, because I’d still invest in mutual funds and life insurance products for long-term goals.
Online farming is worth exploring, but I’d recommend doing it once you have the basics (emergency fund, life insurance), and you’re sure that you can sustain your monthly expenses until the farming cycle is done.
What’s your next financial move?
My husband and I just purchased a vacant lot so we’re saving up for some equity for home construction. =)
What advice can you give to other Pinoys out there when it comes to saving and investing their earnings?
We will never run out things we can spend our money on, so it’s important to be conscious of ourselves, our priorities and spending habits, and assess how much of our money are being wasted instead of being saved.
Always think twice before spending on anything. It could be as simple as taking a jeepney vs. booking a taxi, or as major as taking out a loan to buy a brand new car, VS getting a good second hand vehicle and pay for it in cash.
Also, I live by the faith that everything that we have – money, skills, material things, – are God’s blessings, and He can take it all back in an instant. Let’s learn to be good stewards of His blessings, so He won’t hesitate to give us more.
Please give your rating and recommendation about online farming
I’d personally give Farmon an 8/10 rating. There’s no doubt that the income is good, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to their operation and customer service.
I highly recommend that you explore online farming, but do so with caution. Make sure you have enough money to spare when you’re not allowed to withdraw your investments.
Geli is a 31-year old Online Marketing Officer at World Vision Development Foundation. She works as an online fundraiser at World Vision Philippines, a child-focused, community-based, Christian humanitarian organization.
She and her husband are currently DINKYs (Double Income No Kids Yet), and have 2 dogs. She’s been managing their household finances since getting married in 2013.
Final Notes from Izza
While writing this post I decided to visit search the latest news about FarmOn. Upon checking the Facebook Page of FarmOn their 16th Cycle Registration is now open. You can go to https://www.farmon.ph/page/our-farms to reserve a slot until November 30.
I got surprised that the 16th Cycle Registration has opened so I joined the bandwagon and opened an account on FarmOn. I picked the remaining farm at Pangasinan to invest with and I got a bit surprised that 1 plot is Php 7,500!!! I will be processing my reservation this week.
Not gonna lie, Geli’s return of investment is soooooo A-MAZ-ING! Imagine, six months! No invite needed, just support a local farm and wait for the harvest season to start. This totally turned me into an online farming investor!
But then again, just like Geli’s reminder invest ONLY with your spare money and not with your savings or your emergency fund. Take this advice seriously! Every investment vehicle comes with a risk and online farming have, too.
1. There is a possibility that the production, yield or output levels will be lower than projected. Thus, the return might not be as good as expected.
2. There may be lower sales and prices due to increased numbers of competing farmers and the number of investors that will partake the return from the harvest.
3. Environment concerns such as pest attacking crops, food and livestocks as well as bad weather that may affect the production.
Geli has been an active member of the SavingsPinay Community on Facebook and I still remember how she quickly gave a glimpse on how online farming works in the group. I hope this post helped you decide for yourself.
What are your thoughts about online farming?
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Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org