I got introduced to the idea of online farming one night while talking with my high school barkada.
We were out and about in coffee shop when one friend asked me if I know about this new investment called online farming.
Online farming is my third investment vehicle to date. Just like what Sir Warren Buffet suggest, never put all your eggs in one basket.
I believe in diversifying my money through investment. Having too much cash in my possession is a big no-no for me.
As soon as I earn a good amount of money I immediately look for alternative investment vehicle to invest with.
Online farming is a good option in my opinion and today I will give you a complete guide on How To Invest in FarmOn including a Step by Step Guide.
8 Things You Should Do Before You Invest
What is online farming?
Online farming is a kind of venture where you can help finance local farmers.
Your investment will be pooled together with the others and be used as capital and support for the production.
After the harvest and selling of produced goods, you’ll get your share of profits.
Online farming follows the concept of crowdfunding or the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.
FarmOn is just one of the many platforms available that enables you to fund a farm.
Although at first I was into Cropital. But the interview I had with Geli, a real online farming investor, encouraged me to try FarmOn.
I guess it was destined to be because at the time I did the interview, FarmOn opened its 16th cycle.
I immediately opened an account and invested, a plot of rice in Isabela.
Farming date January 2018. Return of investment in 6 to 8 months.
Before I continue my post I would first like to clear out that I am in no way affiliated with FarmOn.ph. I am not paid to write this post and I am only sharing the procedure to you because I have already tried opening an account to them. Caveat.
FarmOn.ph, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, is a crowdfunding community.
You fund farmers on their financial needs and at the same time reap rewards for your contributions.
FarmOn was developed by Sproads, a web publishing company based in Manila. It was established in 2014 and has continuously made a buzz in the online world, especially Facebook.
The concept of virtual farming is actually intriguing and I do love the advocacy of the platform.
If you are someone who really wanted to engage in farming but has no time, no experience and no actual way to pursue it, then why not help finance a farmer instead, right?
How FarmOn works?
FarmOn, as a crowdfunding platform, opens a new cycle once there are new farms available for funding.
For first timers you can only an account once a new cycle begins. The moment it closes or all farms have been fully-funded you will be able to open an account to FarmOn.ph.
To know when the next FarmOn cycle begins make sure to follow their Facebook page.
For those who have already invested in prior cycle, you will easily see a notification on your account that a new cycle has begun.
On their dashboard you will see each available farm with photo, location, details and the agri-products.
There is also an indicator if a certain farm is still open for funding or already fully-funded.
Products you can invest with varies per farm. Last year, when I first opened my account the only farms available were rice fields.
Just this January 2018, their 17th Cycle opened and I was able to invest in squash. There are a variety of vegetable farms you can choose from.
Click a farm you want and look at the products they offer. Some offers banana, papaya, watermelon, etc.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to invest on any poultry products this cycle because they got sold-out right away.
The way I see it, poultry products are always on demand. Hopefully once a new cycle begins I can purchase either a pig or chicken next.
How to Sign Up in FarmOn.ph?
FarmOn is growing in popularity.
I recently shared the idea on my timeline and I received a number of inquiry on how to invest in FarmOn right away.
So I guess it’s time for me to give you a step by step procedure:
Step 1. Register
Registration opens once a new cycle begins. Just go to FarmOn Join and fill up the Registration Form.
You will get a notification on your email after 3 to 5 days with your FarmOn login details.
TIP: Bookmark this page: https://www.farmon.ph/page/join to be easily redirected once a new FarmOn Cycle is open.
Step 2. Choose Your Crop and/or Livestock
Upon successful registration you can now browse the farms available for funding. Your next step is to choose which FarmOn products you want to invest with.
For the current 17th Cycle FarmOn opens a number of new farms in Pangasina, La Union, Cagayan and Isabela.
Select a farm and choose the crop and/or livestock you want to invest with.
There are some farms with both crops and livestock available so I suggest clicking/visiting each farm and decide accordingly.
What’s good about FarmOn is you can see upfront all the details about the crop or livestock you want to invest with.
Once you have selected the crop and/or livestock you want to invest with click Available and the lot size, number of months you have to wait for ROI and minimum amount needed can be seen.
Step 3. Select Your Desired Number of Plot/s or Head/s
Once you have chosen your product, you can now select your desired number of plots (for crops) or heads (for livestock).
Everything is already computed and reflected on the fly in your current dashboard.
You have an option to require for a notarized contact or not. This will have an additional 250php payment but personally I’d rather pay that amount for extra security. A notary can play an important role in making sure that the FarmOn contract is legally enforceable.
Once your selection is Done, the total amount to be paid will show. Click “Submit” to finish your Request.
Step 4. Wait for your contract to arrive
After 3-5 days (but in my case way longer) your contract will arrive. This contract will include all the important details of your product request and how to pay.
Below is the screenshot of the message I received from FarmOn that my contract have arrived:
Make sure you review the document and that both your name and your requested crop or livestock reflects in the contract.
Every investment you make will have corresponding contract. You need to wait for this contract to arrive on the Message Center of your FarmOn account.
If you agree with the details in the contract just send back to them the signed copy.
Step 5. Pay
I received this message from FarmOn last January 5:
My understanding is that all investors are now required to open a BDO account for every transactions to FarmOn.
But when the contract for my second investment arrived it still clearly states that BDO Bank Deposit is still one of the mode of payment.
And so I contacted FarmOn to clear things out and fortunately someone answered! I had people messaging me that they don’t get any response with FarmOn so I really thought no one will answer me. I contacted the number (+63) 906-4951-856.
The FarmOn employee told me that the BDO account requirement is only for encashment purposes. This means, if you will ever encash your earnings in FarmOn you need to have a BDO account ready for seamless transaction.
This is unlike in the previous cycles where you can nominate other bank accounts for settlement.
Again, you can still pay through bank deposit at any BDO branch near you.
However, if you want to encash your earnings you are now required to have a BDO Account. As per the employee I talked to, any BDO account will work too as long as you have an Authorization Letter.
Payments must be made within 3-5 banking days after the contract is provided to you by FarmOn. Late payments, or those made after 5th banking day will forfeit the contract.
Step 6. Payment verification
The last step is payment verification. To do this you need to send a photo proof of payment (photo or scan-copy of your deposit slip for bank) to FarmOn.
FarmOn will verify the payment made in another email at the Message Center of your account.
A quick timeline on my FarmOn investment journey so far:
What are the requirements needed before I can open an account?
The single most important thing you need to have is a working email. This working email will be used in processing every transaction you have with FarmOn.
You will use the web address to create an account, read important messages and updates as well as withdrawing or cancelling your investment.
As mentioned earlier now that the new FarmOn Cycle opened you will now need a BDO account to withdraw your investment. This BDO account will also be used to transfer your profit seamlessly.
If you already have a BDO account, good for you. But for those who, like me, doesn’t have a BDO account you need to open one for encashment purposes.
Which FarmOn product should you invest?
Some friends and colleagues have difficulty deciding which FarmOn product to invest with.
Geli shared in the interview that she only selects products that takes 6 months to harvest. That way she will have money ready when new cycle begins.
Personally, I try to also avoid products that will take me 10 months and more to have an ROI.
Unfortunately, I’m always late, so most of the good crops and livestock are fully-funded already before I can even select.
Competitive products as per my research and the testimony of other FarmOn investors are green chili (siling haba), native chicken, pig and hot pepper (labuyo).
How much is the Return of Investment ROI in FarmOn?
This FarmOn ROI Table suggests, most of the products actually have 40% (Low) or 100% to 150% (High) return of income.
Again please take note that you sign up on the agreement of the 50-50 profit split with the farm owner.
50% of the profit to the Farmer and 50% to you.
Crops and livestock will be sold in the FarmOn marketplace and your profit will reflect in the dashboard right after. As per my research whatever profit reflects in your account is your gain already.
Meaning, nabawas na yung 50% ni farmer.
I believe this split is only rightful. After all, it is the farmer who does all the hard work before the harvest. Wait for the actual profit to reflect on your account.
Are your FarmOn investments insured? What happens to your money in case typhoon or other calamity occur?
It is stated in the contract that in the event of super typhoon, or any strike that caused damage to crops and/or livestock FarmOn.ph will be the one responsible to provide seedlings and replace the young animals at no additional cost.
FarmOn.ph will also should vitamin shots and necessary medications for the livestock at no extra charges.
The only con I see in this term is that you need to wait another 6 to 8 months before return of your investment happens.
What to expect while waiting for harvest?
I think this is the hardest and scariest part of every investment — waiting for harvest.
You will receive videos and pictures twice a month for crop updates.
When your crop or livestock is ready for harvest, you will be notified immediately. It will be harvested and sold on your behalf, all you have to do is wait for the profit to reflect on your account.
Can I lose money in online farming?
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 livestock as well as bad weather that may affect the production.
How to start investing in FarmOn?
The very first step to invest in FarmOn is to first create an account. Now that there are still farms available for funding you can request for product and invest.
Start first with the maximum amount you are comfortable with. 1 plot of squash-growers is available for 1500php only and you get around 150 squash already.
Do not jump in any investment you don’t know. I suggest reading the following stories from other online farming investors:
Please exercise caution in every investment you will do.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
Online farming (crowdfunding in general), is a form of diversification for me.
I see FarmOn as a good way for my money to be in good use.
The whole concept and business process, in my opinion, is phenomenal. It is well thought-out and brilliant.
Given that we live in a highly agriculture country, investing with crops and local farmers has almost guaranteed return.
For someone who have extra money this is a good option either start investing or to diversify. Plus, the investment is for a good cause making it a win-win situation.
My strategy for my FarmOn investment is simple:
Keep my capital at the amount I can afford to lose and reinvest whatever proceeds I will make in the future.
This way, once a new cycle opens I can just buy another product without worrying where to get the money or adding any money at all!
Hopefully, this new venture will generate some passive income for me in the future.
What’s your view about FarmOn?
Are you into online farming too?
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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