Is Tunda Farmstead Africa investment a scam? A lot of legitimate questions have been raised by cautious Kenyans regarding their business model, which is very similar to the one that was used by Property Reality Company (PRC) and Diamond Property Merchants, both which sank with millions of investors’ money
Tunda Farmstead Africa Investment has been engaged in vigorous marketing on social media, TV and print media over the past few weeks. They have different investment options for interested Kenyan farmers/ investors – mostly those who don’t have time to do the actual farming, but would like a third party to to do the dirty work for them and send the cheques when the produce is harvested
On their website, they have listed several investment options, for those who are interested:
- A long term package where the investor is supposed to invest Sh 499,000, with a return of Sh 760,000 per year for 4 years (but you have to wait for the fruit trees to mature, so the returns will be after 4 years). Fruits in this category are avocados, Mangoes, oranges, tangerines and lemons.
- A short term package where one invests Sh 399,000 with returns of Ksh. 600,000 per year for three years. You have to wait for two years before the money starts flowing in. Fruits in this package include Tamarillos, Passion Fruits, Watermelon and Strawberries
- They have another investment option called Commercial Fruits Gated Farming. They have indicated that this falls under the short term package category but an investor will get to own a 50*100 ft. plot inclusive of the fruits farming. You are required to invest of Ksh. 398,000. You will then be pain Sh 400,000 per year, for three years (beginning after the 2nd year)
How is this model very similar to what Diamond Property Merchants and Property Reality Company were doing?
Diamond Property Merchants
Not too long ago, a local agribusiness venture, Diamond property merchants which promised farmers Sh1 million a year – by investing in two greenhouses worth Sh600,000, sank with millions of ‘investors’ money. The project’s endorsement by Maina Kageni, a popular radio host helped the culprits to lure so many unsuspecting Kenyans in what is now believed to have been a scam .
To invest in this ‘lucrative’ venture, investors was required to Purchase a piece of land with the help of Diamond Property Merchants for
for agribusiness purposes. Each investor bought an eighth of an acre of land at a cost of Sh 450,000. They were also supposed to add an extra Sh 290,000 for building a greenhouse on the piece of land.
After completion of land acquisition and construction of the greenhouse, and at the end of every year, investors were told they would receive a guaranteed Sh 200,000 yearly. However, this never happened and more than 500 people who invested in the venture lost their money
Many of them did not even receive title deeds for the pieces of land they bought for the project
Property Reality Company (PRC), also endorsed by Maina Kageni, lured many ‘investors’ who also lost millions
In 2017, another company that was was venturing in to agribusiness, Property Reality Company (PRC) lured hordes of investors in a too-good-to-be-true project that saw them loose millions of shillings. Most of those who invested in the idea were women.
Just like Diamond property merchants, an endorsement by radio host Maina Kegeni made the project appear to be legitimate, leading many investors in to a trap.
With PRC, Investors were only required to purchase pieces of land – just like the case in Diamond Property merchants, and also pay for the construction of a greenhouse. Then they would entrust PRC to grow high-value crops like tomatoes, capsicums. Then one would receive Sh250,000 after every season.
A plot (eighth of an acre) plus a greenhouse would cost Sh550,000. This means, the investors would recoup their money in about 18 months (or so they thought). You can already guess what happened to those investors – they lost their money
Is Tunda farmstead Africa also a scam?
This company, which is a branch of goldenscape , (by the way, goldenscape is involved in another greenhouse project like the ones by PRC and Diamond property merchants), has attracted so many investors through vigorous marketing. They even run TV ads on popular stations during prime time
However, many farmers and investors are worried because this seems like a duplicate of the now collapsed projects by the two companies mentioned above. On a popular Farmers Facebook group, Digital Farmers Kenya, the issue was raised by one of the group members and almost 100% of members seem to agree that this could be another scam
One member started the discussion by posting this question:
Correct me if I am wrong.. I am very worried about this “Tunda farmstead Investment” business model. For example, you invest in this long term package going for Sh 499,000 (just 1k shy of 0.5m)
- 8 year investment with a 15k annual service fee (120k)
- Your investment matures 4 years after you make the 499k deposit – so am assuming these are long-term fruit trees that take some time to mature
- You get paid every three months when your investment matures. Am wondering which fruits are harvested every 3 months. Most fruits are perennials and have one season per year
- once everyone’s investment matures after 4 years, and it’s time to harvest, and since fruits are seasonal crops, won’t they flood the market and affect the prices? If this happens, will the investor still get his/her ‘guaranteed Sh 190 000 every three months?
- This land that one gets for your fruity investment, where is it? How useful is it if one decides to abandon the project? Is the land good for doing other crops? Or will it become a worthless piece of land in the middle of nowhere?
- Why the need to do this aggressive marketing if your aim is to help the farmer and not enrich yourself? I believe in the chema chajiuza philosophy
- Why issue cheques on live TV?
To which he got numerous replies from members who actually think people should be very careful before investing in such projects
Mutuku Ndeti “Standard Kenyan scam. They will collect the initial investment and the company will be gone before the investment matures. The companies that carry out this model claim they have the land. Why would they need anyone to invest? They can propagate seedlings, plant, manage, and keep all the profits.”
Korie Maru: Your sentiments are very valid, farmers should tread carefully. Why would an organization spend millions on advertisements to benefit an investor. Am not boarding
Nawaz Khan: Nonsense. Scam. Do they offer a “3rd party Insurance cover” in case of default?
Halima Bonoko: Weeh !!! Run this is another scam ,Ask those who invested with Diamond property merchant what we are going through…..serkali saidia…..
Thuita Moses: Fellow farmers, please ask yourself: 1. how can someone know the price of agricultural produce four years from now so that they can tell you what your income will be? 2. if the business is so profitable why are they not investing it themselves and instead want you to do it.. who sells a goose that lays the golden egg? remember the returns they claim is after they have deducted their own expenses and profit margin yours will be the mabaki
Zeph Kivungi: Farming is a business like any other. Let’s stop this mentality of “quick” returns. Invest in own farmig business, learn the ropes, reap the benefits. Hii maneno ya outsourcing expertise wachana nayo. Why are those running these schemes not leasing land and doing it to keep the money? Why so philanthropic? WIZI. It’s a scam at best. If this crazy sh*t was real, Kakuzi would do it. Put your money in such at your own peril