Just a few weeks after announcing a $800,000 investment in equity in Nigeria’s Green Energy and Biofuels (GEB) company, Acumen has again announced its investment in Farmers Hope Company Limited, a Ghanaian firm that produces a unique, affordable organic fertilizer to maximize crop performance and increase yields for smallholder farmers across West Africa.
The $700,000 investment will go towards supporting the company’s capacity to increase production, advance its marketing efforts, and carry out further research on its fertilizer’s efficacy along with resulting yields.
“Acumen’s investment in Farmers Hope is like investing directly in the livelihood of millions of people in Ghana and its environs,” Farmers Hope CEO Mr. Akwasi Osei Bobie said. “It is a great step towards the realization of our long-awaited dream to impact the lives of smallholder farmers in West Africa.”
Established in 2010, Farmers Hope has created an organic fertilizer using locally available ingredients, such as poultry droppings and neem seeds, which both nourishes the soil and provides the crops with much-needed nutrients. Farmers Hope fertilizer has been proven to produce 60 percent higher yields than regular chemical fertilizers and, to date, the company has sold more than 60,000 bags to 4000 smallholder farmers across rural Ghana.
On top of creating a fertilizer to generate higher yields, the company has made the conscious decision to price its product at a cost that is 50 percent less than competitors to support the economic welfare of its customers. As a result, farmers have more resources at their disposal to purchase better seeds and other high-quality inputs for their farms. The company also ensures that farmers have a more sustainable source of high-quality fertilizer than the problem-riddled subsidy programs.
“We are excited about supporting Farmers Hope because fertilizer is not as affordable and easily accessible as expected in spite of all the government subsidy programs,” Mr. Godfrey Mwindaare, Acumen’s West Africa Director said. “We are therefore very proud of Farmers Hope for working to produce and supply an affordable organic fertilizer that not only improves the economic welfare of farmers but has huge environmental benefits.”
Since 2011, Acumen has invested over $6 million in West Africa. The organization has five active investments in sustainable, scalable businesses delivering affordable products and services to both rural and urban low-income communities. Acumen’s recent investments in the region include Esoko, a technology platform that connects African smallholder farmers to markets via mobile phones and PagaTech, an innovative financial services platform that enables low-income customers to manage their money using mobile technology.