For several years, access to fertilizer in Ghana has remained a major challenge for smallholder farmers in various regions.
In recent times, the Russia-Ukraine war has even worsened the situation, disrupting the supply of the product to Ghana and other parts of the world.
To help salvage the situation, Agritech company, Farmerline, has started the ‘Support a farmer’ initiative which is aimed at raising money to provide 250,000 bags of discounted fertilizer for 25,000 farmers in Ghana.
Head of Impact and Learning at Farmerline, Lily Akorfa Keledorme, explained how much farmers stand to benefit from the project.
“The farmer will be able to access affordable fertilizer to increase his/her yields. There’ll also be a high market value for products. For the rules of demand and supply, since we are estimating that there may be very few products at the end of the season, the farmer may have higher market value and revenue for himself or herself. There’ll also be more benefits because of the lower cost of inputs compared to what they would have incurred”.
She noted that “At the end of the day, the big ticket is security in terms of availability, accessibility and the nutritional components of food. Hopefully, through this initiative, we’ll be able to support that goal.”
The ‘Support a Farmer’ initiative is an attempt by Farmerline to complement the efforts of the current government subsidy program, using private sector partnerships to make fertilizer available and affordable to many more farmers across the country.
The project is aimed at providing input credit to local agribusinesses and input dealer shops in various communities to allow farmers to readily purchase fertilizers at discounted prices.
To achieve this aim, the agritech company is embarking on a public crowdfunding campaign to raise GH¢1 million to augment the current industry efforts and reach many more farmers.
Already, Farmerline has committed an amount of GH¢200,000 from the company and staff as seed money for the project.
Chief Executive Officer of Farmerline, Alloysius Attah, speaking to Citi Business News on the sidelines of the launch of the project, called on farmers across the country to take advantage of this initiative to boost their yields.
“Any farmer can dial 399 on any network and ask questions and receive messages in any dialect. They should subscribe to our services, so we connect them to our partners on the ground.”
Mr. Attah also explained that the farmers will be able to access the fertilizers with the use of discount cards.
“Our discount cards are like Voter ID cards. We give it to farmers at workshops, and they can go to any of our partners to redeem those discounts when buying the fertilizers.”
The ‘Support a Farmer’ initiative is in partnership with IT Consortium, Citi 97.3 FM, FMO and ARAF.
Farmerline is the fastest-growing agritech company in Africa with a recent pre-Series A funding of US$14 million (FMO, ARAF & Oikocredit).
The company’s marketplace combines digital tools, logistics, field agents, farm resources, and agribusiness partnerships to support African farmers, all geared towards the mission of creating lasting profits for farmers everywhere.
Farmerline’s technology platform; Mergdata is licensed to development partners, global food traders, and manufacturers who use its customizable tools to improve the lives of farmers across 33 countries around the world. To date, the company has digitized one million farmers and has offices in Ghana and Ivory Coast.