In its second close of the pre-series A round, Ghanaian agro-tech Farmerline has received $1.5 million in equity capital from Dutch impact investor Oikocredit. With the additional capital, the total amount obtained in the round—which includes $6.4 in debt financing—now stands at $14.4 million.
The money arrives as Farmerline, which has operations throughout Ghana, is opening a location on Ivory Coast as part of its ongoing development throughout West Africa.
Founded in 2013 by Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai, Farmerline works through agro-dealers, who are usually the first point of knowledge for farmers, in ensuring access to high-quality supplies, including fertilizer and seeds.
The partner retailers use the startup’s Mergdata, a proprietary AI technology platform for supply chain intelligence, to digitize the farmers they serve, and to generate the data required to predict the demand for farm supplies and prevent stock-outs. It also uses that data to determine the amount of business expansion credit to give to agro-dealers.
“With the support of Oikocredit alongside our first-round funders, our distribution, logistics, and financing services will continue not only in Ghana but also in Ivory Coast where we’ve recently begun the process of expanding our team,” said Attah in a statement.
In a past interview, Attah told TechCrunch that Farmerline is expanding its physical infrastructure like warehouses and distribution networks to make it a marketplace that allows the faster movement of supplies to and from rural areas. The logistics network also supports farmers to quickly access markets for better incomes and reduce post-harvest losses and waste.
Farmerline said it is planning on strengthening its supply chain for agribusinesses to reduce the cost of farming and increase yield for farmers on the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure.
“As fertilizer prices more than quadruple and the conflict in Ukraine compounds global food security challenges, this investment is crucial,” it said.
Farmerline claimed to have so far financed around $18 million worth of inputs and crops through franchise shop alliances with agribusinesses and input dealers.
The startup targets to reach 300,000 farmers in 2022, a nearly 400% increase in growth compared to last year, when it doubled its direct reach to 79,000 farmers, up from 36,000 in 2020 and 8,000 in 2019.
Oikocredit’s equity officer, MilaGeorgieva, said, “The harmful impact of rocketing fertilizer costs on smallholder farmers in Africa is clear. With our investment in Farmerline, we are supporting those most affected by the price volatility. Our investments in the agriculture sector are at the core of Oikocredit’s work as a social impact investor, and we have already identified synergies with other portfolio companies. We are thrilled to support Farmerline Group and smallholder communities across Ghana and Ivory Coast.”
Farmerline’s other equity investors include Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Greater Impact Foundation.
Africa Needs $173 Billion Annually To Tackle Climate Change
It is the obligation of industrialized nations to provide climate money to assist poor nations like Nigeria in overcoming the effects of climate change.
According to data from the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2022 African Economic Outlook, the continent of Africa is expected to receive between $4.76 trillion and $4.84 trillion in total climate money from 2022 to 2050. This equates to $163.4 billion to $173 billion every year.
It is interesting to know that the GDP per capita and climate change have a significant relationship. Things could get worse if climate finance is not given to Africans who are already disproportionately suffering from the effects of climate change.
To develop climate resilience and endure the effects of climate change, the African continent needs this climate financing.
Developed nations committed to a collective aim of generating $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries during the UNFCCC’s 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The money raised was intended to be utilized to take significant climate change mitigation measures in Africa. The promise has not yet been carried out.
According to Akinwunmi Adesina, head of the African Development Bank (AfDB), climate financial commitments from rich nations are urgently needed for Africa. He stated:
“Africa is suffering what it didn’t cause. The developed world, a long time ago, promised $100 billion a year in support of climate finance for developing countries. What we get now is a lot of talks and zero financing. It’s time to pay up because Africa is suffering tremendously from the impact of climate change. It’s Africa’s COP, so let’s deal with Africa’s problems by putting the money on the table.”
Earlier, the AfDB recommended in a report that the $100 billion commitment should be treated as new or additional financing rather than being lumped together with commitments to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) and funding from multilateral development banks (MDBs).
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Peoples Congress (APC) candidate for president, has recently come under fire for suggesting that before acting as president of Nigeria, the West must support climate efforts in Nigeria.
This was said by the politician in response to a query about how he intended to combat climate change at the Arewa House in Kaduna.
The lawmaker was criticized primarily for allegedly not understanding how climate financing operates. But based on all the evidence, it appears he is justified.
Nigeria’s fight against climate change will require around $247 billion between 2020 and 2030, according to the AfDB’s projections.
Nigeria’s shift to a low-carbon economy brings to light the challenges the nation’s oil industry and energy infrastructure are experiencing. More than 85% of exports and over half of income come from oil and gas.
The move to higher incomes will be slowed down by the elimination of fossil fuels, but inclusive and environmentally friendly development is still a possibility.
Emission limits for 2030 were set at 453 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2eq) in the updated NDC 2021 to 2030 and National Adaptation Plan 2021, or around half the level predicted in 2015.
With a total finance forecast of $177 billion, this represents an increase of 2.6% annually.
Youth Agripreneurs To Receive $140,000 In AgriPitch Competition
A virtual information session on how to obtain training and seed financing will be part of the yearly African Development Bank (AfDB) seminar via its AgriPitch platform.
Young African “agripreneurs” are invited to attend an online seminar hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in order to enter the bank’s AgriPitch competition.
A share of $140,000 in seed money and a position in the competition’s business development boot camp are up for grabs for the best agripreneurs on the continent who compete on the AgriPitch platform.
The competitors in the 2022 AgriPitch competition will get help developing concepts and coming up with new ideas that will promote sustainable nutrition across the entire continent of Africa, strengthen the food systems in Africa, and minimize the effects of gender marginalization.
The AgriPitch competition, which is an annual event and a major component of the AfDB’s Enable Youngsters Program, helps youth gain technical capacity-building skills and improve their access to financing.
The AgriPitch 2022 competition, which aims to foster an innovative culture and technology-led agricultural innovations, was presented at the webinar that was scheduled for Monday, October 17.
AfDB representatives will outline the application procedure, respond to applicants’ inquiries, and introduce the partners of the AgriPitch 2022 competition during the seminar.
The theme of AgriPitch 2022 is The Role of African Youth within African Food Systems.
Edson Mpyisi, Chief Financial Economist and Coordinator for Enable Youth at the AfDB, commented on the contest as follows:
“With the increased effects of climate change and the resultant impact on food systems within the continent, this competition serves to showcase timely and scalable youth-led opportunities.”
The AgriPitch Competition, he continued, aims to empower African agripreneurs by making their businesses more bankable and making sure they are “pitch ready” for potential investors.
The Employment for Youth in Africa Strategy of the AfDB aims to develop human capital, enhance inclusive employment and entrepreneurship, and create permanent ties with the labor market.
Those that succeed in the competition this year will receive coaching and mentoring throughout an exciting, personalized virtual two-week Bootcamp.
The Bank believes that entrepreneurship is a pathway to a secure job and viable socio-economic growth that is inclusive and promotes sustainable development. Therefore, Africa’s emerging vibrant wave of entrepreneurs must be supported and nurtured for the continent’s prosperity,” explained Damian Ihedioha, AfDB’s Division Manager for Agri-business.
The 2022 semifinalists will also get the chance to work one-on-one with a mentor, present their business proposals to possible investors in the AgriPitch deal room, and have access to online resources after the competition.
African adolescents who work in the agriculture value chain and are between the ages of 18 and 35 are eligible to enter the AgriPitch competition.
Early Startups (0–3 years in business), Mature Startups (3–+ years in operation), and Women-Empowered Businesses (companies with at least 51% female ownership or started by a woman) are the three competition categories for AgriPitch 2022.
Visit the competition page to find out more and to participate in the 2022 AgriPitch competition here
What Seizure of Obajana Cement Plant does to Investors
The Kogi State government recently ordered the closure of the largest cement mill in Nigeria, Obajana, which is powered by Dangote Industries, after claims that the plant’s purchase was defective.
The world community has once again received troubling signals from this, particularly when it comes to investments, mergers, and acquisitions.
Businessman and Group President Aliko Dangote has shown an incredible dedication to investing in Nigeria, and the Obajana Cement facility is just one of them.
An unpleasant event in Nigeria’s political history is the plant’s forced closure, which has resulted in the loss of jobs for young people, income for the Kogi State administration, and infrastructure for the populace.
The Kogi state government’s actions are surprising at a time when the African continent is moving quickly to establish the “AFCFTA,” or Free Trade Agreement Area, intended to promote industrialisation, trade, and growth.
Given the benefit of the doubt, Nigeria is a democratic state with concerns regarding a multinational’s operations there.
There are four explanations for why the recent action taken by the Kogi state government regarding the Obajana Cement project signals to investors.
Whether at the federal, state, or municipal level, government’s responsibility includes creating an environment that encourages economic growth. This is undermined by Kogi State’s activities, which also make the business environment unfavorable.
Nigeria is succeeding in luring foreign direct investments, which were less than $500 million in Q2 2022. Potential foreign investors may experience additional shocks as a result of the current action because they will be alarmed by the treatment given to a significant domestic investor.
It will bring up the crucial issue of how Nigeria views the sacredness of contracts and engagements. The best course of action for problems identified by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria is to take legal action. Without adherence to the rules of engagement, investors will lose interest in making investments in Nigeria.
Kogi State had a stellar reputation for community and asset security prior to this tragedy. Government measures must be taken to settle the disputes amicably and restore calm to the state in light of reports that persons were shot during the forcible shutdown.
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