Ghanaian agritech, Farmerline gets $12.9M funding. Farmerline has stepped in to deliver technologies aimed at improving farmers’ access to high-quality production inputs and education on optimal agricultural methods.
Farmerline has identified key deficiencies in Ghana’s agri-food sector. Its solutions are also intended to help farmers gain faster access to markets, resulting in more profits and less post-harvest loss and waste.
In 2013, Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai founded Farmerline. It will begin its expansion in Ghana before moving on to the adjacent Ivory Coast, accelerated by a new $12.9 million pre-Series A investment round ($6.4 million equity and $6.5 million debt).
Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, lead the equity round. Another participant in the round is Greater Impact Foundation. DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, the Netri Foundation, and Kiva were among the debt lenders.
The agritech will utilize its first round of equity capital to construct physical infrastructures, such as warehouses and distribution networks.
“We see ourselves as the Amazon of farmers,” Attah explained, “a digital and physical infrastructure powering a marketplace that permits the movement of products and services to and from rural areas.”
“We intend to use the funds to improve our infrastructure, which includes warehouses and distribution networks,” he said.
“It’s critical to have a network of partners who can assist us in quickly getting inputs like fertilizer and seeds to rural areas, as well as farm produce from rural areas. We don’t plan to bring all logistics and storage in-house, but we do want to be more efficient, which involves partnering with the right people,” he added.
Farmerline collaborates with agribusinesses (often small retail stores that offer farm inputs) to guarantee farmers have access to high-quality products.
“We’re tapping into that agriculture network, and in some ways, we’re tapping into a network of trust – the relationship that these shop owners have with farmers to help us expand,” said Attah.
“This investment is a watershed moment for our industry, and it provides an opportunity for us all to transform the way we work together as a community to benefit farmers who currently feed one-third of the world’s population, but will need to increase production by 70% by 2050 to feed nine billion people”, concluded Attah.