The start-up Agrocenta encourages small Ghanaian farmers by putting them in direct contact with consumers, far from the classic agribusiness.
Francis Obirikorang is the founder of Agrocenta. Born in a small village near Ghana’s capital Accra, his parents run small farms that ensure the survival of the whole family. To sell their surplus production, however, they must go through resellers who buy the products at very low prices.
As an adult, he now knows that it is precisely these small farms that can promote sustainable development since they do not use much fertiliser. Moreover, in the family where he grew up, the possession of several plots of land allows his parents to leave plots fallow. A practice that allows soils to regenerate after a crop cycle.
With Michael Ocansey, Francis Obirikorang decides to support these farmers who have difficulties selling their products, by creating Agrocenta, a platform that allows these farmers to find customers online. Thanks to it, farmers can also know the selling price of their products from a simple mobile phone.
A Ghanaian success story
Very quickly, small Ghanaian farmers will get the project off the ground. After more than three years of field work, Agrocenta is invited to the Seedstars Summit, held on April 12, 2018, in Lausanne, Switzerland. As the 2018 Seedstars Global winner, the start-up is rewarded with a prize worth $500,000. It is an award that encourages start-ups that focus on sustainable development.
Its presence in Switzerland will attract numerous investors, including the German venture capital firm Greentech Capital Partners, which with a few partners, are financing the start-up up to 200 000 dollars. Other investors have promised to support Agricenta. This is the case of a family investment fund based in New York, Isabaltic Trust, the Ghanaian investment company Frontier Business Solutions, SANAD Technical Facility in Jordan and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Jean Marie Takouleu