South African startup GreenFingers Mobile, which provides a technology platform for managing and financing smallholder farmers in Africa, has launched out of beta stage and secured an equity seed investment from the Hivos Food and Lifestyle Fund.
GreenFingers Mobile is a mobile-first software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology platform that manages and finances large groups of smallholder farmers. The platform easily adapts to different crop types and use cases.
The platform replaces pen and paper based systems to manage farmer profiles, track commercial exchanges, monitor field extension staff, and ensure that effective and timely technical assistance is provided in the field.
“With 7 billion people on the planet, and smallholder agriculture representing 70 per cent of production in developing countries, efficient systems to manage food supply chains are imperative. Smallholder farmers typically farm less than two hectares, and live on less than US$2 per day,” said Max Pichulik, GreenFingers Mobile’s chief executive officer (CEO).
“We believe that technology will play an increasing role in connecting farmers to markets efficiently, and meeting an increasing global demand for food. Our software solution replaces archaic paper-based management systems with real-time mobile solutions, bringing transparency to the supply chain, and enabling the efficient management and financing of smallholder farmers.”
Keith Wallace, senior investment manager at the Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund, an impact investor based in the Netherlands, said the GreenFingers solution was an important tool in enabling ethical supply chains through the management of large, real-time data sets.
“We hope that GreenFingers can make it easier for large food companies to work with smallholder farmers, playing a significant role in poverty alleviation and reducing their impact on the environment,” he said.
GreenFingers Mobile was formed through a partnership between Impact Amplifier, a South African business accelerator, and Mobenzi, a mobile-first technology company that empowers frontline workers in over 40 countries. GreenFingers Mobile currently operates across three countries and supports over 5,000 smallholder farmers.