FarmWorks, a Kenyan agtech startup focused on empowering smallholder farmers, has successfully raised $4.1 million in a pre-Series A funding round. The investment was led by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, with participation from Livelihood Impact Fund, Vested World, family offices, and angel investors. This significant funding round brings FarmWorks’ total equity funding to $5.6 million.
Transforming Smallholder Farming with Technology
FarmWorks aims to revolutionize the agriculture sector in Kenya by harnessing the power of technology. Through its innovative approach, the startup provides farmers with access to vital farm inputs, market opportunities, and training, elevating their capacity and yields.
With the recent funding, FarmWorks plans to further strengthen its data analytics capabilities and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize production. These technologies will enable the startup to make informed planting and lending decisions, enhancing overall agricultural efficiency.
Building a Strong Out-Grower Scheme
At the core of FarmWorks’ operations is an out-grower scheme that brings together over 2,000 smallholder farmers. This well-structured scheme has enabled FarmWorks to build a robust supply chain network, ensuring timely delivery of high-quality produce.
“We are transforming what they are farming, and their income by introducing higher value crops like sugar snaps and snow peas, and finding the market,” said FarmWorks CEO Yi Li. “So, we become vertically-integrated from day-one in both the production and the distribution side of the business.”
Expanding Reach to New Regions
As part of its growth strategy, FarmWorks is planning to expand its network of contract farmers to other regions within Kenya. The startup aims to replicate its success in additional counties, thereby empowering more farmers across the country.
Comprehensive Support for Farmers
FarmWorks provides farmers with comprehensive support, including essential farm inputs, pest control services, and access to farming equipment on loan. The startup also offers training on good agricultural practices, demonstrating these practices on its own trial farms.
FarmWorks believes that improving production is crucial to addressing the challenges faced by small-scale farmers. By introducing higher-value crops and optimizing farming techniques, the startup aims to unlock the full potential of farmers’ land and increase their income.
Sustainable Initiatives and Environmental Impact
In addition to empowering farmers, FarmWorks is committed to environmental sustainability. The startup’s efforts include using recycled materials in its products and packaging, and it actively contributes to Kenya’s tree-planting initiatives to promote ecological balance.
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Kenya’s agriculture sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy, but smallholder farmers often encounter significant challenges. FarmWorks’ innovative solutions and technology-driven approach are expected to have a positive impact on the sector, improving farmers’ livelihoods and contributing to the nation’s economic growth.
With its recent funding round, FarmWorks is well-positioned to scale its operations, reach more farmers, and create lasting impacts in Kenya’s agriculture sector. The startup’s commitment to innovation and sustainability sets it apart as a leading agtech player in the region.