Leading image

Linking farmers to markets with just a click


Abraham Quaye, founder of Farmart Ltd


A winner of CTA’s Pitch AgriHack competition, Farmart – an online farmers market – enables farmers to sell their produce for more money and reduce post-harvest losses.

Understanding what farmers need and providing an easy solution is a recipe for a transformative agribusiness. Abraham Quaye, an agribusiness graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with an interest in technology and social media, realised that smallholder farmers in Ghana were producing food but lacked a viable market for the produce. “Farmers have been farming for a long time but many have nothing to show for their hard work because they lack buyers and those who buy from them often give them low prices,” says Quaye, who decided to find a solution to farmer’s market access challenge.

Putting his technology skills to work, Quaye launched Farmart with an investment of GH¢ 4,000 (€730). Farmart links farmers to customers in a new smart way. The company sources produce from farmers as soon as an order is placed on its website, and the products are then delivered to individuals and business customers at their home and offices across Accra.

“Running an online business has helped us pay attention to the needs of our customers which engage with us online,” says Quaye. The company has also used social media – including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pin Interest – to boost their online profile. The Farmart website makes it easy for people to order, and for those who are not tech savvy, a number is listed so they can send a message, via WhatsApp or SMS, to place orders.

Adding value

In 2017, Farmart won the CTA’s Pitch AgriHack competition which aims to promote start-ups that offer innovative agribusiness solutions. Through support from CTA, Farmart is seeking to recruit more staff, as well as increase the number of individual customers [LK1] and the number of business customers develop new services, generate higher revenues and make the business more sustainable. CTA supported Farmart to attend the Africa Agribusiness Incubation Conference and Expo 2017 organised by the African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) in Senegal. Farmart’s CEO is also attending the 2018 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). These kinds of networking events helps Farmart, and other start-ups promote their business.

Quaye says that business training and exposure to new ideas is the fuel needed to drive start-ups in Africa. “Pitch AgriHack gave us exposure to some of the things that we were not doing right like how best to work with farmers and how to run a farmer-focused business,” says Quaye. “Pitch AgriHack was not just about a pitch. We went through business training on pitching, financial modelling and opportunities across agriculture value chains which are important elements in sustaining a business. I recommend any start-up to enter Pitch AgriHack.”

The future is agribusiness

“We get inspiration from Alibaba and Amazon, and are diversifying as a result”, said Quaye. In 2017, Farmart launched Farmers Box; a ready-packaged and branded box of farm-fresh produce. The company has also created the Farmstore, a platform allowing accredited food processors to create their own market for niche products within the Farmart platform. In 2018, Farmart is looking to raise €12,000 to expand the business and gain accreditation from Ghana’s Food and Drugs authority so that it can enter the export market.

“We are building technology to link farmers in Ghana with customers abroad and we want to tap into a growing demand for organic produce,” said Quaye. “We are also advocating for policies that support agribusiness. The Planting for Foods and Jobs initiative in Ghana is empowering farmers to produce more which is good for us. When farmers are doing well, a country does well and there is a boost in economic growth.”

Abraham Quaye, founder of Farmart Ltd

Abraham Quaye, founder of Farmart Ltd


Online platform improves the livelihood of small farmers in Ghana

Michael Ocansey, a computer science specialist, and Francis Obirikorang, a chemical engineer, developed the online platform, AgroCenta, won CTA’s 2017 Pitch AgriHack initiative, which gives youth entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop their business services and accelerate the adoption of their services. In an interview with CTA, Ocansey talks about AgroCenta – which links small-scale farmers and farmer organisations in Ghana with a big online market to improve the prices they receive for their commodities.

Read More

Offering ICT solutions to meet the specific needs of Ivorian farmers

In Côte d’Ivoire, ICT4DEV, the best Ivorian start-up at Pitch AgriHack 2017, has developed mobile applications to meet the needs of local farmers.

Read More

Supporting young e-agriculture start-ups

During the last quarter of 2016, Pitch AgriHack’s 25 finalists – selected from a competitive group of 152 e-agriculture start-ups from across Africa and the Caribbean – participated in a 2-day training bootcamp, which focused on offering successful business services in e-agriculture, at iHub in Nairobi.

Read More

Be sure you don't miss our latest updates.