AgroCenta is an AgTech company that provides the “last mile” approach for the smallholder farmers, going a step further to help farmers sell competitively after they get market information from existing e-agriculture products on the market.
AgroCenta was founded by two ex-esoko employees, Francis Obirikorang and Michael Ocansey in 2015 to improve the agricultural value chain in Ghana. Two critical problems within the value chain, which are the lack of an access to market for smallholder farmers in the rural areas, which subjected them to activities of exploitative, buying from middlemen and the lack of a coordinated truck delivery system to cart their commodities from farms to markets to sell.
The idea is to solve these age-old problems by introducing an online sales platform that connected smallholder farmers directly to an online market, which has wider geographic size, to sell their commodities. The end result? Exploitative buying was reduced to the barest minimum since farmers were in control of selling their commodities at prices that were favorable to them.
Once a farmer gets offers from interested buyers, the problem of logistics and transportation were sorted using AgroCenta’s TrucKR solution that allowed the smallholder farmer in any remote village in Ghana access trucks at the click of a button. You can call it the Uber for trucks for local farers. AgroCenta is changing the very lives of smallholder farmers by using technology to solve problems they encounter in agriculture.
AgroCenta’s core services are
- AgroTrade : Which is a sales platform that connects smallholder farmer directly to a larger market to trade fairly. AgroTrade matches smallholder farmers in rural areas to small, medium and large buyers in the urban areas.
- TrucKR : TruckR is the on-demand trucks and logistics aspect of AgroCenta where farmers can book for truck delivery services to cart their commodities from farms to markets just at a click of a button
- AgroInfo : Real time weather, market prices and extension advisory services are delivered via SMS and voice solutions to smallholder farmers using mobile technologies
- AgroPay : AgroPay is the financial inclusion platform for smallholder farmers where farmers in rural areas, without bank accounts, receive payments for goods and services via mobile money technologies.
AgroCenta’s success factor stems from the elimination of the exploitative buying approach from the post harvest value chain, and putting the smallholder farmer at a pivotal position where they are able to sell their commodities to interested buyers fairly, generate enough income and become financially independent.
AgroCenta is not alone in this space as the field of AgTech has seen many competitors.
AgroCenta’s main competitors are Esoko, FarmerLine and Farm Radio. These 3 competitors are “information-based” only, delivering market prices, weather information and extension advisory services via SMS to farmers. AgroCenta offers more by actually facilitating the movement of produce with their trucks.