BY TOM JACKSON
Good Nature Agro, a tech-enabled Zambian company working from end-to-end within the specialised legume value chains, has raised Series A equity funding worth US$2.1 million to help it accelerate its growth.
Founded in 2014, Good Nature Agro partners with smallholder farmers to improve their productivity through soil-enriching legume farming, and links them to high-value legume markets. The startup uses tech to manage the 5,000 smallholder farmers it works with.
The company has now secured a US$2.1 million Series A round, which is led by Goodwell Investments with participation from existing seed investors Global Partnerships and FINCA Ventures. Good Nature Agro will use the funding to accelerate its ability to build up essential value-add processing infrastructure in Central and Eastern Zambia, to accelerate the growth of its full-farm extension services for smallholders, and connect these farmers to large-scale agribusinesses and food processors seeking hassle-free sourcing, as well as to further their seed breeding programme.
In 2020, the startup plans to support 15,000 farmers with vital extension services, customised input packages, financial planning and goal setting frameworks, and guaranteed offtake contracts.
“We believe that every farm – regardless of size – deserves a partner who sees enough value in their capacity and their dreams to engage with them as individuals and families. Our focus on personal advice and service delivery to farmers even as we scale is the key to our social impact and our momentum,” said Carl Jensen, Co-founder and CEO of Good Nature Agro.
“With this investment, we are entering a new phase of rapid growth driven by global value chains and superior service to our suppliers and customers.”
Mercy Zulu, investment associate of Goodwell Investments, said agriculture in Zambia and Southern Africa, much like the rest of the continent, had an enormous social and economic footprint.
“However, the region’s full agricultural potential remains largely untapped due to supply chain challenges and low processing capacity,” she said.
“Through its business model and exceptional team, Good Nature Agro is addressing many of these issues by providing access to credit, inputs, critical technical services, and market linkages in a way that benefits smallholder farmers and promotes sector growth. This makes the company a good fit for uMunthu’s inclusive agribusiness strategy. We are excited that our investment will support the next phase of the company’s growth, and we look forward to working with the team on this journey.”