GERMANY – Bayer, German multinational, pharmaceutical and life sciences company has provided funding of about US$600, 000 in support of myAgro start-up innovation that purposed to assist smallholder farmers in Mali and Senegal.
Bayer’s donation will help in expanding the initiative to the other African regions as well as help in the control of notorious worm infections, a bother to the farmers’ families, as well as used by the farmers to obtain high-quality seed and fertilizer.
‘myAgro’ company applies the mobile phone technology that allows farmers to save as little as US$1 by buying myAgro scratch cards that reflects on their myAgro accounts.
At the onset of the planting season, the company supplies the farmers with high quality seeds and fertilizers in return.
“Through our model, we are changing access to the financial system in a way that suits smallholder farmers.
That’s because their needs often are not compatible with conventional capital flows. In this way we help them to achieve increased prosperity,” said Anushka Ratnayake, founder and CEO of the start-up.
“Thanks to myAgro’s savings program, high-quality products and on-time delivery, small farms that are usually cultivated by the families themselves increase their yields by 50 to 100% on average and raise their net farming income by about US$150 to 300 per year,” he added.
In a bid to strengthen families, the funding will also help in controlling worm infections that affect the farmers and their children rendering them incapable of providing labour on the farms.
The money will be used in buying the deemed expensive medications administered free of charge to the farmers’ families in a move to enhance development and eradicate poverty.
“Food from smallholder farmers feed a large segment of the world’s population,” said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and Head of the Crop Science Division.
“Yet many of these farmers live in severe poverty.
That’s why we support myAgro, which can make a big difference with its innovative social business model and has the potential to enable a better life for more than 50,000 smallholder farmers, their families and the communities they help feed.”
Bayer’s prime support for social innovation has greatly impacted on social development and in the long run improving the living conditions in developing countries through the Aspirin Social Award.
They target to cause advancement in the health and nutrition sector in the developing countries through such partnerships.