Desmond Koney, speaking to us from his bustling home in Lagos, emphasizes the often underestimated infrastructure gap when implementing solutions for African challenges.
The Complete Farmer initiative seamlessly integrates three vital components of agriculture: the buyer, grower, and vendor. It establishes connections between farmers and global food buyers, concurrently supporting farmers in maintaining a competitive edge throughout the supply chain.
Koney, not a farmer himself, but a qualified engineer, embarked on this journey with a unique perspective. He sought to bring success to Africa’s agricultural sector through engineering-driven problem-solving.
Approaching the issue, Koney considered it from an engineering standpoint, envisioning how he would tackle it as if designing a factory or applying production engineering principles to agricultural challenges.
A primary reason behind the struggles and occasional failures of African farmers, according to Koney, stems from supply chain and capital limitations on the continent. These factors have substantial implications for food security in Africa, especially as the region remains the only one yet to undergo a Green Revolution, as indicated by the AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa report by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“Complete Farmer,” Koney explains, “initially aimed to enhance and digitize the agricultural value chain in Africa.” The path forward was not initially clear, as they needed to decipher the optimal solution. Over nearly five years, they meticulously refined their model to reach their current status.
Complete Farmer serves as an end-to-end digital agriculture platform, offering industries an affordable means to source high-quality agricultural produce while allowing individuals worldwide to conveniently own farms. By cutting out intermediaries and produce aggregators, this marketplace platform empowers global industries to build their supply chains and directly fulfill their agricultural requirements through African farmers.
Koney underscores the wealth of data available regarding Africa’s agricultural potential and the escalating food insecurity, particularly in Europe. Given that food is a fundamental necessity for human survival, this industry presents abundant opportunities.