AgroCenta is a technology company in Ghana focused on solving market linkage and financial inclusion problems in the agricultural value chain.
“Over time we have built two solutions that help us efficiently deliver services within the value chain. We have covered it all from seed to warehouse. These solutions are available for organisations in the same space who wish to work more efficiently,” the organisation said.
“This is our platform for facilitating trade between smallholder farmers and consumers or buyers. Over 48 000 farmers are currently signed up on CropChain with over USD500 000 worth of commodities traded. You or your organisation can license and use CropChain to manage your farmers, warehouses, logistics and commodities.”
Francis Obirikorang and Michael K. Ocansey, two ex-esoko employees, founded AgroCenta in 2015 to boost Ghana’s agricultural value chain by tackling two key challenges faced by smallholder farmers in rural areas: access to market and access to finance, whether formal or informal.
“Farmers will never be able to progress from being smallholders to middle-level or even commercial farmers due to a lack of access to finance,” the organisation said. “Smallholder farmers are compelled to sell to intermediaries who buy at excessively exploitative rates due to a lack of access to an organized market.”
Empowering new farmers and women
Cropchain and LendIt, the company’s platforms, address these two issues. Cropchain is a user-friendly comprehensive agricultural supply chain management software that helps businesses to manage everything from outgrower programs to logistics and traceability to digital trade, quality assurance, and data analytics in the agricultural supply chain.
Farmers may use LendIt, their financial inclusion platform, to get digital services including mobile money payments for commodities traded, micro-lending/input finance, crop insurance and an informal sector pension system.
The company also has a number of what they dub “impact agendas”, and these include empowering beginner farmers to sustain themselves and their businesses, doing their bit in ensuring food security and equal access to land.
“In Ghana, women form about 50% of the smallholder farmer population and access to land for farming is a major issue. Land ownership has been a preserve for men in the past and AgroCenta is working with chiefs, community and opinion leaders in communities we work in to increase the participation of women in agriculture and land ownership,” the organisation said.