5 Years of Transforming Small Scale Farmers into Successful Entrepreneurs – Farmerline at Five
In a very diplomatic ceremony, Farmerline a social enterprise celebrated their five years’ anniversary at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on February 9, 2018.
The event saw personalities from various industries in attendance. Before the commencement of the ceremony, there was a networking session for industry players to get talking and catch up on issues.
The highlight of the ceremony was when the Queen Mathilde of Belgium graced the occasion with her presence. Upon her arrival, she was introduced to individual farmers who shared their experience working with Farmerline and how they (Farmerline) has improved their lives as small holder farmers.
One farmer testified “I used to grow on a small-scale which wasn’t very profitable, but after the intervention of Farmerline, I am now able achieve a very profitable business to cater for my family’. This and many other stories are what makes the Farmerline mission an on-course one.
Queen Mathilde in a conversation with partners of Farmerline, expressed admiration in how the technologies of Farmerline has helped improved operations of these partners.
Background of Farmerline
Established in 2012 and launched in 2013, Farmerline is a Ghanaian software company that builds technologies and provides small-scale farmers and stakeholders working in rural development and agriculture with access to timely and relevant information and better communication channels through mobile phones.
The company, started by two graduates of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai, was an idea that came out of the Mobile Web Ghana Apps Competition in 2012 organized by the World Wide Web Foundation, where the pair developed a solution to send content messages to farmers via text messages.
After running this enterprise for a few months, Alloysius and Emmanuel realized that text messages were not providing the impact that was anticipated because a significant number of targeted farmers could not read. Together, they decided it would be more prudent to adapt this solution to include voice messaging in order for less literate farmers to access this innovative information services.
Thus, the company began delivering good agricultural practices, weather reports, and market information to farmers, reaching beyond barriers in language, literacy, and connectivity by offering information in local languages, via voice messaging, compatible with simple feature phones. This initiative has resulted in Farmerline’s content messaging, remote surveying and data collection services being deployed across six (6) sectors and eleven (11) countries by companies, NGOs and governments, as well as reaching over 200,000 users across Africa.
The next five years looks promising for the Farmerline team. Last year, through the Farmerline Fellowship programme, the company added 11 new recruits to the team (http://farmerline.co/2017/08/11/the-hiring-of-11-new-fellows-signals-a-new-era-for-farmerline/).
Commenting on the new recruits, Alloysius Attah, the CEO of Farmerline said; “When we think about how to build our team, the first thing we think about is the culture we want to create. At Farmerline, we don’t see ourselves as a company with employees that have jobs, but rather as a community of passionate people. And together with our fellows, we will work on our long term vision to fundamentally empower smallholder farmers into successful entrepreneurs.”
We wish them best of business luck.