Grainpulse, a Ugandan supply chain platform for farmers has raised $11m from IFC and the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to strengthen its farmer supply chain, increasing food production and economic growth in the country.
Grainpulse will use the loan to become a one-stop-shop for farmers, providing them with multiple services, such as fertilizer blending. The company’s fertilizers are optimized to increase the yields of crops grown by Ugandan smallholder farmers. Grainpulse also buys these crops, including coffee, maize, and barley, from local farmers.
In a statement, Hannington Karuhanga, Grainpulse CEO and Founder, said, “Our partnership with IFC will help Grainpulse move to the next stage of growth. We chose to work with IFC because it takes a long-term view of our partnership and adds value beyond financing, in areas such as farmer linkages. We are aligned with IFC on our goal of supporting Ugandan farmers.”
With the funding, Grainpulse will launch an online platform so farmers can easily access information on best practices, and train agro-input dealers and retailers on financial management skills to help them expand and secure access to finance.
Grainpulse, which was formerly known as Savannah Commodities Company, processes and exports coffee, sources and mills grain and cereals from local farmers, and blends fertilizer at its blending plant, the first in Uganda. In September 2018, Grainpulse formed a joint venture between Savannah and K+S AG, a global potash and salt company headquartered in Germany.
Tomasz Telma, IFC’s Senior Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, said, “Supporting the agribusiness sector is a major focus for IFC in Africa. This investment in Grainpulse will contribute to food security and economic growth in Uganda by helping increase farmers’ fertilizer use and improving their access to markets.”
Grainpulse expects to reach from 36,000 farmers to more than 300,000 by June 2023.
According to Relief Web, nearly 90 percent of the Ugandan population derives most food and income from small-scale food- and cash-crop agriculture. In the country, agriculture, is the main pillar of the national economy and accounts for nearly half of the gross domestic product (GDP) and nearly three-quarters of exports. Growth in the staple-food sector, however, is falling behind other sectors of the economy, compromising many Ugandans’ food security as well as the country’s ability to sustain its economic growth. These funding from IFC will help change the dynamics.