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Ghana-based agritech startup AgroCenta has raised $790k in pre-series A working capital and development funding from UK charity Shell Foundation, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), AV Ventures, and Rabo Foundation.
AgroCenta secures $790k in funding
The funding secured will be utilised to further develop the agritech’s existing smallholder farmer inclusion programmes.
In a press release, Francis Obirikorang, CEO of AgroCenta and Michael Ocansey, co-founder of the agritech startup highlight the importance of the investment secured.
“This is a significant milestone for AgroCenta, having the support of leading institutions, particularly with the COVID-19 backdrop, underlining the strength of AgroCenta and the importance of its mission. The demand for agricultural raw materials from off-takers in the brewery, manufacturing, and consumer sector is increasing exponentially because of the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions that were put in place by the government of Ghana, hence this capital injection will help to secure purchases at fair and transparent prices from smallholders — a much-needed lifeline for many who are at the proverbial bottom of the pyramid”.
Founded in 2016, AgroCenta is an agritech startup that has created an online platform that connects all the stakeholders in the staple food value chain such as smallholder farmers, partners, off-loaders, and logistics supplies to buyers.
Providing a much-needed service and platform to smallholder farmers in rural areas in Ghana, the agritech startup provides them with access to larger online markets to increase their revenue. In addition, smallholder farmers and farmer-based organisations’ produce is re-invested into the purchase of Agri inputs such as seedlings, pesticides, and more.
This creates a two-fold solution to the major problems faced by smallholder farmers in Ghana, namely, access to market and access to finance.
Using technology, AgroCenta eliminates the need for middlemen or brokers, thus reducing the possibility of exploitative buyers that reportedly purchase produce from smallholder farmers for less than a third of its actual value. Essentially, the startup provides support for smallholder farmers within the value chain process.
AgroCentra’s CropChain platform enables smallholder farmers to execute transactions with accurate information and has reportedly increased the average CropChain farmer’s income by 35% since its launch. In addition, the platform provides reliable access to financing, inputs, and knowledge on the best agricultural , enabling smallholder farmers to contribute to sustainable food security.
Featured image: Emmanuel Bobbie, AgroCenta, Facebook