Company ProfileGood Nature Agro Products Ltd
Good Nature Agro (GNA), founded in 2014, produces legumes (soybeans, groundnuts, beans and cowpeas) for seed and export. The business works with smallholder farmers by providing inputs, financing, training and market access. GNA is currently working with 15,000 smallholder farmers through this model with 4,000 in seed and 11,000 in commodities. In 2019, the average seed grower in the GNA network improved their average income from a baseline of $113 per hectare to $357 per hectare. 95% of revenue for GNA currently comes from sale of legume seed under the brand Good Nature Seed.
In 2017, GNA Zambia decided to open up a second stream of revenue and become a primary processor of beans and groundnuts. It branded this venture as ‘Good Nature Source’. It sold seeds and provided extension services to 1,800 SHFs leading up to harvest in 2020. It bought beans and groundnuts from 300 of them, and linked the remaining 1,500 SHFs to potential customers.
Smallholder farmers in Zambia remain isolated and without viable market options despite rapidly growing global demand for quality legumes. Research by IAPRI showed that in 2019, the value of imported agricultural crops in Zambia exceeded agricultural exports for the first time in over 10 years, despite having over 60% of the population involved in farming. Some of the reasons for this disconnect are that Zambia’s smallholder farmers have been growing wrong varieties for formal markets, each crop has key traits that buyers want depending on their end use.
With support from EZCF, GNA seeks to address these challenges through the following initiatives:
- Engage with global buyers of legumes and utilize breeding capacity to improve alignment with buyer’s desires and the agro nomic needs of the regions in Zambia. The project will engage and support 60,000 additional smallholder farmers to produce to buyer’s specs and deliver on contract.
- The project further seeks to launch a digital platform that connects all players together. The core of the digital platform will be matching of supply and demand and will span all operations in between, including farmer engagement, loan tracking, purchasing and payment, logistics, processing and delivery. The project anticipates a 12-month platform build, followed by 12 months of refinement as the project scales and a final 12-month period of getting as many growers across Zambia on the platform.
- In partnership with BetterWorld Energy, growers on the platform will receive personalised agronomic advice to help increase short-term yields and long-term land health. The advice will be informed by soil analysis facilitated by field staff and satellite data.
- Lay the groundwork for selling carbon credits as a third revenue stream.
Product, Market and Competition
- GNA’s customers are spread throughout Southern Africa and Europe, the business has secured letters of intent to supply 18,000 MT per annum. Primary markets are for beans (canning and pre-pack), groundnuts (snack and ingredient), and soybean (crushing for oil and feed/food ingredients). By the end of the project, the project expects to produce 111,000 MT of legume commodities with growers in the GNA source network.
- GNA is currently piloting its source model with FirstWave Group, a parent company to Yalelo Ltd. FirstWave intend to source 14,000 MT of soybeans from smallholder farmers annually. This translates into 5,000 farmers growing soybean on 8,000- 10,000 additional hectares with a fixed base price.
163 full-time jobs, 800 part-time jobs, 180 seasonal jobs