Agri-tech startup Ghalani, launched by Kenyan and Nigerian entrepreneurs that met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has raised US$50,000 in funding from Kosmos Innovation Centre to launch its product in Ghana.
Ghalani provides a mobile and web-based ERP solution to the contract farming sector that integrates all agricultural supply chain processes seamlessly.
“We help fast growing contract farming schemes scale their farming operations. We do this through a farm and labour management software that helps contractors efficiently manage large number of farmers to improve productivity and reduce risks,” co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Tabby Nanzala Mayabi, from Kenya, told Disrupt Africa. Co-founder Amanze Ogbonna is Nigerian.
The startup was formed in June of this year at MEST, which in March partnered the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), launched by oil and gas firm Kosmos Energy, in order to assist agri-tech startups with funding and support.
Ghalani has now raised US$50,000 from the KIC, with Mayabi saying it has already felt the benefit of working with the centre.
“They have had many conferences and forums that exposed us to sector experts, farmers, agribusinesses and any business and companies that supported agriculture one way or another. This has made it easier for us to validate the real problem in the agricultural sector,” she said.
The startup is about to start working with three contractors, and will take the opportunity to learn more about the agriculture space and how the Ghalani solution can make an impact.
“Contractors or agribusinesses form an agreement with thousands of farmers, to provide the farmers with farm inputs and services like quality seeds and fertilisers, training on crop production, storage facilities, transportation of their produce and an assurance of a steady market for their produce,” Mayabi said.
“The farmers then ensure a steady supply of quality produce at a certain quantity. The problem that arises is that such contractors find it difficult to manage and monitor the increasingly large number of farmers under them.”
Ghalani’s farm and labour management system helps contractors efficiently manage these farmers, increasing productivity and reducing risks by integrating all agricultural supply chain processes seamlessly.
“Most farm management systems target single commercial farmers who have large land acreage, and are mainly from the European, Asian and South American markets,” Mayabi said.
“In Africa, most solutions similar to ours are provided by NGOs and only last for a number of years as per the lifetime of the project. Our base is Africa, beginning with Ghana, where contract farming thrives. We are looking to become more of a permanent solution to the whole supply chain of agriculture in which contractors in Africa can easily tap into.”
Though Ghalani’s current clients are Ghanaian contractors, because most of the startup’s validation took place in the Ghanaian agricultural sector, it does plan to expand to the likes of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa, as well as South America, in due course.
“We will charge contractors an annual license fee based on the number of farmers that they have under them and the number of modules they require. This is because each contractor deals with different crops which have different processes in the agricultural supply chain,” Mayabi said.