The tech start-up seeking to untap and transform Africa’s agricultural supply chain efficiency

Lagos-based Releaf is aspiring to make it easier for FMCG manufacturers in Africa to access high quality ingredients for their factories and has just raised $3.3 million in an oversubscribed Pre-Series A funding round.

Releaf develops technology to enable decentralized purchasing and processing of raw crops to improve profitability and prevent post-harvest loss for the palm oil plant native to West Africa.

The new funding will support the launch of two new technologies. The first is a portable version of its award-winning palm nut de-sheller called (Kraken II). Second is a geospatial mapping application called SITE. This identifies the most optimal positioning of supply chain infrastructure for consumer goods manufacturers, creating an effective link with Africa’s decentralized farming system.

CTO and co-founder of Releaf Uzoma Ayogu said the technologies are the next steps in the company’s plan to fundamentally transform the efficiency of agricultural supply chains in Africa. “To make food supply chains profitable, we must maximize extraction yields with leading processing technology and minimize logistics costs by bringing processing capacity closer to farmers,”​ he said. Before Releaf, he explained, stakeholders had to choose between one or the other – large factories had great technology but were far away, leaving most farmers with rudimentary technology to process their crops. “We’re now able to maximize both,”​ he declared.

The SITE technology used cutting-edge geospatial mapping tools to determine how much oil palm is planted in an area and their annual yields. Alongside Releaf’s proprietary data on soil type, rainfall, farmer productivity and 3rd-party data from organizations like the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the company said it can deliver a dynamic view of farming activity.

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