Ugandan Agriculture Tech Firm Raises $11M To Strengthen Farmer Supply Chain

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Ugandan startup Grainpulse plans to use an $11 million investment to strengthen its farmer supply chain, offering new services like fertilizer blending. Photo by Mark Kucharski on Unsplash

A Ugandan digital supply-chain platform for farmers has raised $11 million to develop an online and offline resource for smallholder farmers in Uganda.

An estimated 70 percent of Africans depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood. In Uganda, 70 percent of the country’s working population is employed in agriculture.

Agriculture tech firm Grainpulse is planning to launch an online platform so farmers can easily access useful information and educational resources to build their financial management skills and help them secure access to finance.

The Ugandan agricultural sector is hampered by the limited use of fertilizer, which makes production vulnerable to variable rainfall and pests, according to Export.gov.

Grainpulse plans to use the investment to strengthen its farmer supply chain, offering new services like fertilizer blending to optimize and increase yields of crops grown by Ugandan farmers, Techhawk reports.

Grainpulse buys these crops, including coffee, maize, and barley, from local farmers.

Agriculture is Africa’s most dominant economic sector, accounting for 15 percent of the continent’s GDP, or over $100 billion annually, according to McKinsey

Grainpulse was founded by CEO Hannington Karuhanga, the chairman of mobile operator Airtel Uganda.

Karuhanga previously worked as a marketing manager for Uganda Coffee Marketing Board Limited for more than nine years and sits on the Uganda Coffee Development Authority board, according to Letshego.

Grainpulse claims that the funding and development of its online platform will increase its reach from 36,000 farmers to more than 300,000 by June 2023, EngineeringNews reports.

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The funding was provided by the International Finance Corporation and the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program.

The Washington D.C.-based International Finance Corporation is a member of the World Bank Group. It invests in private sector development in developing countries.

The Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program provides funding to supports projects designed to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers living in the world’s poorest countries.