GHANA – Farmerline, a Ghanaian agritech company focused on providing smallholder farmers with quality inputs and market access through a network of local agribusinesses, has secured a US$6.4 million Pre-Series A investment and US$6.5 million debt.

The funding is aimed to strengthen its supply chain for agribusinesses; reduce the cost of farming; and increase yield for farmers on the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure.

Farmerline’s marketplace combines digital tools, logistics, field agents, farm resources and agribusiness partnerships to support African farmers with access to high-quality fertilizer and seeds; free education on climate-smart farming practices; and connections to international markets.

The company’s in-house technology platform Mergdata is also licensed by global food traders and manufacturers who use its customisable tools to improve the lives of farmers around the world.

It has so far digitized over 1 million farmers through partnerships across 26 countries; employed over 200 people in Ghana; and evolved Mergdata into an AI-powered super platform for supply chain intelligence like crop yield prediction, fertilizer demand forecasting, product traceability, and Agribusiness credit scoring for asset and fertilizer financing.

Farmerline’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Alloysius Attah says, “With this new investment, we will scale the AI capabilities within Farmerline’s Mergdata platform to help increase the income of farmers and agribusinesses; supporting them to access farm inputs; supplying them with assets such as tricycles, tractors and threshers; and connecting them to global markets.”

Farmerline will also invest in local infrastructure and logistics to support distribution, and accelerate the industry’s marketplace currently across Ghana with plans to deepen relationships with partners in Ivory Coast.

Today, farmers feed one third of the world and will need to increase production by 70% to cater for nine billion people by 2050.

Currently, post-harvest losses of food cereals in Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated at US$4 billion due to factors such as access to timely agronomic education. Meanwhile, fertilizer use is 14kg per hectare as compared to 120kg for their counterparts globally.

In recent times, Africa’s agribusiness sector has been coined the ‘new oil’ and is predicted to reach US$1 trillion by 2030.

But the continent will need eight times more fertilizer and six times more improved seeds to realize its full agricultural potential.

Co-founder and chief operations officer of Farmerline Emmanuel Owusu Addai said, “Farmerline’s goal has always been to create lasting wealth for farmers and their communities.

“To do that at scale, we’re expanding our operations across regions and are actively on the lookout for the best talent to help build an efficient supply chain that saves money for agribusinesses, reduces the cost of farming and the time it takes for people to get services to rural areas.”

The US$6.4 million Pre-Series A investment, led by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, alongside Greater Impact Foundation is Farmerline’s first equity raise since launching a decade ago.

Lenders of the US$6.5 million debt include DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, Netri Foundation and Kiva.

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